Nigerian Extradited to US Convicted in Multi-Million Dollar Email Scam

A federal jury in New Haven, Connecticut, delivered a verdict on Wednesday, finding Nigerian national Okechukwu Osuji guilty of orchestrating a sophisticated email scam across multiple countries, including the United States. According to a statement from the US Department of Justice released on Thursday, Osuji, along with his accomplices John Wamuigah and Tolulope Bodunde, defrauded victims of over $6.3 million.

The jury convicted Osuji on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Scheduled for sentencing on July 24, Osuji faces a mandatory minimum of two years for identity theft and a maximum of 60 years for wire fraud and conspiracy. The final sentence will be determined by a Federal District Court judge considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Osuji, 39, was apprehended in Malaysia and extradited to the US in 2022. One of his alleged accomplices, Wamuigah, remains in Malaysia pending extradition proceedings. Meanwhile, Tolulope Bodunde pleaded guilty on February 16.

The court documents and trial evidence revealed that Osuji and his associates targeted individuals and businesses by posing as trustworthy entities in electronic communications to illicitly obtain money. They employed both unwitting and witting “money mules” to receive fraudulent proceeds in their bank accounts and then transferred the funds to accounts controlled by the perpetrators or converted them into cash for further transfer.

Over the course of the scheme, numerous victims were deceived into transferring funds into bank accounts they believed belonged to legitimate recipients, only to discover later that the accounts were controlled by Osuji and his co-conspirators.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Nicole Argentieri, characterized Osuji as leading a network of scammers operating in Malaysia and other locations. She emphasized the collaborative effort between international law enforcement agencies in bringing cybercriminals to justice in the United States.

Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Vanessa Avery, hailed the conviction as a testament to the effective collaboration between the FBI, Stamford Police, and their international counterparts. She pledged continued efforts to combat internet fraud schemes and ensure justice for victims.


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