Obinwanne Okeke may forfeit $11 million, faces 30-year imprisonment

Obinwanne Okeke may forfeit $11 million, faces 30-year imprisonment

A federal grand jury in the United States has indicted Obinwanne Okeke for $11 million fraud.

The decision affirmed the investigation of the U.S. Department of Justice, conducted by the F.B.I, and now set the stage for the commencement of criminal trial.

It was further reported that the jury also recommended that Obinwanne Okeke should forfeit at least $11 million in cash and asset or both if convicted.

Obinwanne Okeke was arrested on August 6 in the U.S. and slammed with two counts of computer and wire fraud.

He was subsequently taken before a court and remanded in prison following preliminary hearings.

While he remained in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, a grand jury was set up to look into the allegations against him.

The jury returned on September 9 with an indictment of Okeke for the $11 million fraud.

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A grand jury typically consists of 23 people who may not necessarily be lawyers or have law enforcement backgrounds.

The F.B.I. had detailed the fraud in its criminal affidavit against Okeke as involving a subsidiary of heavy equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar.

The business email compromise (BEC) fraud was reported to have been carried out in 2018.

The jury agreed with the F.B.I. findings that Okeke was the individual who committed the fraud alongside others.

It was unclear whether his alleged accomplices have been identified or authorities have deliberately concealed their details because they are still at large.

With the indictment, the trial will now commence on September 16.

The Nigerian entrepreneur, who faces up to 30 years if convicted, has named John Iweanoge, a Washington D.C. attorney of Nigerian origin, as his lead counsel.

He would be expected to enter a plea during his September 16 appearance.

Okeke had been widely celebrated in local and foreign media as a shining light amongst Nigerian youth.

He is the founder of Invictus Group, which has business interests in real estate, oil and gas, renewable energy amongst others.

Mayowa Oladeji

WRITER at 1ST NEWS
A writer with a keen interest in human stories and topical issues around the world.

mayowa.oladeji@1stnews.com
Mayowa Oladeji

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