Charlotte Resident Sentenced in Connection with Business Email Compromise Scheme, Access Device Fraud, and Check Fraud
RALEIGH – The United States Attorney’s Office announced that today in Federal court, United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced OBINNA IZUCHI ONWUZURIKE, 27, of Charlotte, North Carolina to 65 months of imprisonment and $154,928 in restitution.
ONWUZURIKE was named in a Criminal Information filed on August 30, 2016 which charged him with conspiracy to commit money laundering and access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. On September 26, 2016, pursuant to a waiver of indictment, ONWUZURIKE pled guilty to the charges.
According to the charging instrument, statements made in court, and other public information, ONWUZURIKE conspired with others to engage in acts of money laundering, access device fraud, and check fraud. Among other things, ONWUZURIKE was involved in the laundering of fraud proceeds generated by “business email compromise” (BEC) schemes through one or more domestic bank accounts. BEC schemes are sophisticated scams targeting businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments. The scam is carried out by compromising legitimate business email accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to conduct unauthorized transfers of funds.
ONWUZURIKE also engaged in access device fraud involving the theft of credit card information for the purpose of making unauthorized charges against victim accounts. Additionally, as part of the conspiracy, ONWUZURIKE committed check fraud. In one instance, ONWUZURIKE deposited a $60,000 counterfeit check into the bank account of a sham company opened with victim information. The check itself purported to be drawn on another victim’s home equity line of credit.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cyber Division. Assistant United States Attorney Adam F. Hulbig prosecuted the case for the government.