Nigerian businessman Invictus Obi has been convicted of computer and wire fraud and sentenced to ten years in prison by a US court. Before his arrest, Invictus had appeared the renowned Forbes Africa’s ’30 Under 30′ list- a list that features successful enterpreneurs who are under the age of thirty.
Invictus Obi, whose real name is Obinwanne Okeke was charged for being the mastermind behind about $11 million worth of losses to his unsuspecting victims between 2015 and 2019.
During his trial in June 2020, he had pleaded guilty to the crimes. The court said he carried out his scams through subterfuge and impersonation.
The judgment of the court read in part: “Today’s sentence further demonstrates EDVA’s and FBI’s worldwide reach in vigorously pursuing justice on behalf of American victims and others and holding international cybercriminals accountable, no matter where they commit their crimes.”
Obi had founded Invictus Group as a legitimate business before he was apprehended by the FBI for his scams. He was named on the Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 in 2016 and was featured on the magazine’s June 2016 cover. CNBCA also named him as a finalist for Young Business Leader of the Year (West Africa) in 2017.
Obi is believed to have a degree in International Studies and Forensic Criminology as well as a Masters degree in International Relations and Counter-Terrorism Studies. He was featured regularly in Nigerian and international media and was highly celebrated as a young man making big strides in the corporate world.
His company, Invictus Group, has interests in oil and gas, construction, energy solutions, technology and agriculture.
In one of his discovered scams, Invictus Obi and his team targeted an export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment named Unatrac Holding Limited. They managed to compromise one of the company’s top executives via a phishing email and then acquired his login credentials.
After this, the scam was in full swing. They sent fraudulent wire transfer requests using fake invoices and were able to steal about $11 million. Notably, the funds were transferred overseas.
Besides this, Invictus Obi also carried out other forms of cyberfraud, like creating fraudulent web pages, and causing other losses to numerous victims.
Chief U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith announced Obi’s sentencing in a court in the Eastern District of Virginia.
In a statement, the FBI reaffirmed its commitment to locate cybercriminals across the globe and bring them to the United States to be held accountable once they prey on US companies or citizens.
Another alleged Nigerian fraudster, Ray Hushpuppi was arrested by Interpol in Dubai before being extradited to the US to face trial.