Monday, May 20, 2024

Nigerian scammer jailed in U.S. for multimillion-dollar wire fraud

Uzor helped steal approximately $1.1 million from the victim businesses and individuals and unsuccessfully attempted to steal another $400,000. 

• May 15, 2024
U.S. PRISON
U.S. PRISON [CREDIT; BBC]

United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Victor Uzor, 36, a Nigerian national, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Kelley Brisbon Hodge to 48 months’ imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and more than $1 million in restitution for his role in a $1.1 million business email compromise scheme.

On January 2, 2024, the defendant pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

The scheme typically involved another member of the conspiracy pretending to be a legitimate vendor and emailing a false invoice to the victim organization. Uzor’s role in the offense was to open a series of bank accounts using the identity of real people, who had no connection to the crime. 

Another conspirator arranged for the victims to send money to the accounts opened by Uzor. Uzor then quickly withdrew these funds and moved them to other accounts before the scam could be discovered.

In total, Uzor helped to steal approximately $1.1 million from the victim businesses and individuals, and unsuccessfully attempted to steal another $400,000. Among the scheme’s victims was a nonprofit provider of mental health care located in Doylestown, PA.

“First, Victor Uzor victimized the people whose identities he stole to facilitate this scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “Then he helped prey upon the primary targets of the business email compromise, including a nonprofit organization in Bucks County dedicated to providing behavioral health care for the underprivileged and underserved — a safety net for those in need of care. In stealing from this provider, he shortchanged its employees, patients, and the community. My office is committed to holding accountable anyone involved in such a clear-cut case of fraud.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Livermore.

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