Advance-Fee Fraud! Nigerian May Spend 20 years in US Jail
Huhuonline.com can disclose that a federal jury in the Western District of North Carolina on Wednesday, February 23th, 2011, convicted Nigerian born Ugochukwu Enwerem over his involvement in an advance-fee fraud a.k.a 419. According to court documents obtained by huhuonline.com, after six days of trial and four hours of deliberation, Mr. Ugochukwu Enwerem was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and 14 counts of wire fraud charged in a July 2007 indictment stemming from an "advance-fee" scheme. He was also ordered to forfeit more than $9.5 million.
Our checks reveal that his co -defendant, Mr. Oserumen Kent Okojie, who was arrested in August 2008, is awaiting sentencing, having pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud in September 2009.
Finding reveals that Oserumen Okojie and Ugochukwu Enwerem, both Nigerian citizens resided in the Netherlands originally, where they were charged in a June 2007 complaint and were subsequently extradited to the United States from The Netherlands.
According to court documents obtained by huhuonline.com, between at least September 2002 and April 2007, Okojie, Enwerem and their co-conspirators solicited individuals by sending spam e-mails informing potential victims that they had either won a foreign lottery or inherited a large sum of money from a long lost relative. When individuals responded to the e-mails, the defendants or their co-conspirators, posing as lawyers, bankers and European government officials, solicited fees from victims ostensibly to pay for things such as "anti-terrorism certificates," "EU bank clearances" and legal fees in order to secure their lottery winnings or inheritance.
Trial evidence established that Okojie and Enwerem instructed U.S. and international victims to wire funds through Western Union and other money transfer services to the defendants and their designees in The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. The Western Union servers are located in the Western District of North Carolina. According to trial testimony, at least 18 U.S. and international victims lost more than $9.5 million as a result of this scheme.
At sentencing, Enwerem faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the conspiracy count and 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the 14 wire fraud counts.