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FBI declares Nigerian wanted for stealing $44 million


THIRTY years of age Nigerian, Mr. Tobechukwu Enyinna Onwuhara aka Tobe X, has been declared wanted in the United States of America (USA) for stealing various sums of money totalling $44 million (about N6.6 billion) from people's bank accounts within three years.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, while declaring Tobechi (short form for Tobechukwu) wanted, described him as a criminal who used sophisticated methods to obtain personal information on banks' customers' accounts and also their numbers.

FBI has added Tobechukwu to its list of 'Most Wanted Fugitives.

According to reports from FBI, Tobechi was born in Houston, the US, by a wealthy Nigerian father, Prince Onwuhara who himself was a popular fraudster who made fortune from 419 before he settled in America.

Reports also confirmed that the suspected fraudster worked with a lender firm, Capital One Financial Corporation based in Texas, from where he was able to master the financial system of the US.

Onwuhara was first arrested in April 2002 by the police in Lewisville City on allegations of using stolen identification to steal money from credit card accounts.

When his house was searched, items recovered included stolen credit card account numbers, fake driver's licenses, and materials used in forging identification.

Also in December 2002 while Onwuhara attempted to withdraw money from a local bank in Seattle, he was caught with his friend, Abel Nnabule who tried to assist him to escape in a waiting car. Both were arraigned and found guilty in the court.

They were jailed two years. But they ended up spending eight months in Seattle prison because of their good behaviour.

Thereafter, he relocated to Texas and went underground. He resurfaced again when real estate business was at its peak.

With homeowners savings hitting $300,000 - $400,000, Tobechi, through his criminal research, was able to impersonate homeowners using their passwords and home phone numbers to defraud them.

According to the US FBI findings, Ownuhara had a female ally in Precious Mathews who assisted him when he needed a female to make calls to homeowners that were duped of their savings.

The report added that Onwuhara and his co-conspirators had stolen about $40 million before FBI could notice their scam and identify the perpetrators.

As the group became apprehensive that the law was about to catch up with them, the leader, Tobechi was reported to have fled Miami for Nigeria via New York. Other members of the group were, however, arrested, tried and jailed in America.

FBI findings indicated that whenever Onwuhara 'hit it,' he usually spent $50,000 a night in club houses also visiting five-star hotels and has transferred large sums of money outside America while also shipping expensive cars to Nigeria.

FBI report indicated that Onwuhara's co-conspirators have been sentenced to various jail terms.

Those jailed include: Henry Obilo, 30; Abel Nnabule, 34; his girlfriend, Precious Mathews; Brandy Anderson, 31; Ezenwa Onyedebelu, 21; Damsel Orjinta, 43 and Paul Gipson, 34.

They were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 15 to 88 months.


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