NIGERIAN billionaire Obinwanne Okeke has been arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for conspiracy to commit computer fraud in a scam involving his Invictus Group.
Mr Okeke, who made it into Forbes Africa’s Under 30 List in 2016, was arrested by the FBI over a $11m wire fraud after an account belonging to the chief executive of Unatrac Holding, a steel company, was hacked. Apparently, Mr Okeke is suspected of having conspired with some other individuals to access the Unatrac Holding computers without authorisation.
According to an affidavit signed by Marshall Ward, an FBI special agent, representatives of Unatrac Holding, contacted the agency after experiencing a fraudulent transfer of $11m from the firms account through a compromised email. This led to an investigation, which began in July 2018 after the FBI reviewed the submitted documents and eventually led to the arrest of Mr Okeke.
The affidavit read: “Unatrac’s chief financial officer received a phishing email containing a web link purportedly to the login page online email account hosted by Microsoft Office365. When the chief financial officer opened the link, it instead led him to a phishing website crafted to imitate the legitimate Office365 login page.
“Believing the page to be real, he entered his login credentials, which were captured by an unknown intruder who controlled the spoofed web page. Between April 6 and April 20, 2018, the intruder accessed the chief financial officer’s account at least 464 times, mostly from Internet Protocol addresses in Nigeria.”
Mr Okeke, widely known as Invictus Obi, was arrested on August 6 in Alexandria, Virginia, just moments before he was scheduled to return to Nigeria. He appeared before Michael Nachmanoff, a magistrate with the District Court of Eastern District of Virginia, on August 7 to answer charges of wire fraud.