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Nigerian businessman and owner of Invictus Group Obinwanne Okeke who was arrested in the United States in August 2019, has pleaded guilty to $11 million (N4.2 billion) fraud.
The 32-year-old fake CEO celebrated by Forbes admitted to American prosecutors that he was involved in computer-based fraud between 2015 and 2019.
A spokesperson for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Joshua Stueve said that Obinwanne Okeke could spend 20 years maximum penalty in an American jail.
Stueve, further disclosed he would be sentenced on October 22.
“A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors,” the court official said.
An American judge of the district, Robert Krask certified the guilty plea on Thursday morning to clear the paths for Mr. Okeke’s sentencing.
Mr. Okeke and other alleged conspirators who are on the run were accused of targeting American businesses in an investigation led by the FBI.
Amongst the companies said to have been targeted by the cartel in a business email compromise scheme for several years, was Unatrac, a subsidiary of heavy equipment giant Caterpillar.
Over $11 million was said to have been traced to the ring, amidst claims that Mr. Okeke allegedly used the proceeds of his illicit dealings to build a business empire in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria.
Obinwanne Okeke was arrested in August 2019 as he was about leaving the United States for Nigeria and was held in jail for several months.
Initially, he pleaded not guilty and was remanded by different district court judges. However, he later agreed to change his plea and admitted to his involvement in the fraud scheme.