Nigerian IT Engineer Faces 30 Years Imprisonment Over N119million Unemployment Fraud Million In US

A Nigerian info expertise employee, Chukwuemeka Onyegbula, has been indicted on wire fraud and id theft costs by a federal grand jury in Seattle, Washington.

Acting US legal professional for the western district of Washington, Tessa Gorman introduced the indictment in an announcement by the division of justice.

Nigerian IT Engineer Faces 30 Years Imprisonment Over N119million Unemployment Fraud Million In US 2

Authorities mentioned Onyegbula utilizing the title “Phillip Carter,” together with his co-conspirators was linked to at the very least 253 fraudulent filings for unemployment advantages in 17 states, AP studies.

The Nigerian was recognized as an info expertise engineer with Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited.

He was arrested on June 3 and is alleged to be presently detained in Nigeria. It is just not but clear if he will probably be extradited to the United States for trial.

According to prosecutors, Washington, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Nevada, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin paid out a complete of practically $290,000 (N119 million) on claims of unemployment. 

They additionally acknowledged that the federal Small Business Administration paid out $54,000 (N22 million) in COVID-19 financial catastrophe claims filed by Onyegbula and his co-conspirators.

Washington state was severely victimised by fraudulent claims for pandemic-related advantages. It seemingly paid out greater than $647 million in such fraudulent claims, although $370 million was recovered, in accordance with state officers.

The indictment additional alleged that Onyegbula and his co-conspirators accessed the COVID-19 financial harm catastrophe mortgage (EIDL) web page on the small enterprise administration’s web site and submitted purposes for loans utilizing the “stolen” private identifiable info (PII) of US residents.

The assertion issued on Thursday by the US justice division reads, “Onyegbula allegedly used variations of a single e-mail address in a manner intended to evade automatic detection by fraud systems. By using this practice, Onyegbula made it appear that each claim was connected to a different email account,” 

“The email account used for fraud was linked to Onyegbula by various electronic evidence such as phone numbers and IP addresses. The email account contained information such as a visa application receipt, banking information and homework assignments by Onyegbula’s son. The cyber evidence also includes dozens of tax return information for U.S. citizens.

“Conspiracy to commit wire fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in prison when the offense relates to benefits paid in connection with a presidentially-declared disaster or emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year sentence to run consecutive to any sentence imposed on the other counts of conviction.

“This case is being investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG). The Office of International Affairs of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division provided substantial assistance. The Washington Employment Security Department is cooperating in the investigation.”

SaharaReporters recollects the same case involving Abidemi Rufai, a senior particular assistant to Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun, who was arrested within the US over alleged fraud.

Rufai, who served because the Deputy Director-General of the Dapo Abiodun Campaign Organisation within the final governorship election within the state, was arrested on the JFK Airport in New York, the United States of America, on a legal criticism of wire fraud for his scheme to steal over $350,000 in unemployment advantages from the Washington State Employment Security Department, the appearing US Attorney, Tessa M. Gorman, introduced.

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Nigerian IT Engineer Faces 30 Years Imprisonment Over N119million Unemployment Fraud Million In US

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