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Press Release

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty To I-D Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns   
PHONE:       (716) 843-5817 
FAX #:          (716) 551-3051  

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Eric Kelechi Nwachukwu, 32, of Baltimore, MD, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny to fraud in connection with a means of identification. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Bonanno, who is handling the case, stated that on June 20, 2020, Nwachukwu, and two passengers, were referred for secondary inspection by Customs and Border Protection at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry. During the secondary inspection, CBP Officers found multiple fraudulent driver’s licenses in the names of other individuals known to the government, as well as two cellular telephones. Homeland Security Investigations Special Agents subsequently executed search warrants on the phones and recovered identification consisting of names and dates of birth, among other information, belonging to approximately 30 other individuals known to the government. Nwachukwu possessed the identifications without authorization and with the intent to commit bank fraud. The investigation determined that between April 26 and September 25, 2019, Nwachukwu used the identifications of four these individuals to conduct approximately 11 unauthorized withdrawals totaling $52,800 at financial institutions in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Rose Brophy and Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Scarpino.  

Sentencing is scheduled for July 6, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.

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Updated April 18, 2022

Identity Theft