The US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Thursday, August 22, notified the general public of a mass arrest which ensued after a breakthrough in its investigation of some fraud cases in the country.
A US attorney, Nick Hanna said in a press conference that the arrested fraud suspects conspired with some federal and state agents to perpetrate the crimes leveled against the suspects. While the FBI’s dragnet for the arrest of 57 other suspects has been extended globally, the 80 arrested suspects (mainly Nigerian citizens) have been charged to court.
“FBI agents along with federal and state law enforcement authorities arrested a total of 14 defendants in the US, all named in a sweeping fraud and money laundering case.
“Those arrested today are among 80 defendants charged in a federal grand jury indictment that alleges that millions of dollars were taken from victims through a variety of scams and online frauds.
“We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in US history. BEC scam is used to hack email accounts to convince businesses or individuals to make payments that are either completely bogus or that should have been otherwise paid to legitimate companies.
“Indictments showed very specific allegations against this suspects many of whom are based in Nigeria in terms of stealing money from victims. The indictment also focuses on those responsible for enabling these fraud schemes including operatives in Los Angeles” he said.
The 80 suspects whose targets were majorly elderly individuals, were handed a total of 252 count charges which bordered on “conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, aggravated identity theft”.
Meanwhile, barely a week ago, Obinwanne Okeke, Nigeria’s most celebrated fraudster of all time was arrested in the United States, following an FBI investigation that has been on him since 2018.