31-year-old Nigerian man bags four years in prison over N460m ($1m) internet fraud

A 31-year-old Nigerian man, Solomon Ekunke Okpe, has been sentenced to four years imprisonment for taking part in online scams that targeted US citizens and banks, leading up to N460m ($1 million) in losses to victims.

The 31-year-old was handed the prison term after being extradited from Malaysia, where he was arrested, to the US to stand trial.

The US Department of Justice, while announcing the sentence said Okpe and his accomplices “devised and executed business email compromise (BEC), work-from-home, check-cashing, romance, and credit card scams” between 2011 and 2017.

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According to Infosecurity magazine, targeted victims included individuals, banks, and businesses in the US and other countries, who were subjected to email phishing attacks aimed at stealing login credentials and “other sensitive information.”

The DoJ described the scams as “intended to cause more than $1 million in losses to US victims” although it is not clear if the cyber-fraud gang achieved this nefarious goal.

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Financial institutions named by the DoJ as victims include First American Holding Company and MidFirst Bank.

Okpe now joins his fellow gang member, Johnson Uke Obogo, behind bars.

Obogo was sentenced on March 20 to a year and a day in prison for his role in the scams, a considerably shorter tariff than Okpe’s.

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