Forbes celebrated Nigerian entrepreneur, Obinwanne Okeke popularly known as ‘Invictus Obi’ was on Tuesday in a Florida court sentenced to a 10-year jail term for computer and wire fraud.
Invictus Obi was arrested in 2019 and formally pleaded guilty in June 2020 for charges relating to $11 million (N4.2 billion) computer-based fraud transacted between 2015 and 2019.
The lead prosecutor, Raj Parekh, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said of the verdict: “Through subterfuge and impersonation, Obinwanne Okeke engaged in a multi-year global business email and computer hacking scheme that caused a staggering $11 million in losses to his victims.
“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.”
One of his victims includes Unatrac Holding Limited, a subsidiary of American heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar.
In April 2018, a Unatrac executive fell victim to a phishing email that allowed conspirators to capture login credentials.
The conspirators sent fraudulent wire transfer requests and attached fake invoices. Okeke participated in the effort to victimize Unatrac through fraudulent wire transfers totalling nearly $11 million, which was transferred overseas.
Okeke is the founder of Invictus Group and operates in three African countries which include Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia.
He has a degree in International Studies and Forensic Criminology and Masters of International Relations and Counter-Terrorism Studies from Monash University in Australia.
Okeke in 2016 was listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 categories for his business exploits and was described as an inspiration to Nigerian youths.
He was also named as a finalist for Young Business Leader of the Year (West Africa) by CNBCA in 2017.