Business Hilights
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U-30 billionaire, Forbes eminent but serial wire transfer suspect, Okeke in prison

Trial of Nigerian Forbes celebrated under-30 entrepreneur and fraudulent wire transfer digital billionaire suspect arrested in the USA following crack intelligence surveillance by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Mr. Obiwanne Okeke on Monday appeared at US court marking the commencement of his criminal trial.

Recall that he was trailed, whisked away and remanded in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service in August. He pleaded not guilty of the allegations.

In an affidavit, the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Okeke and at least six other persons that are yet to be nabbed were involved in the crimes.

FBI’s special agent Marshall Ward said in an affidavit deposed to before Justice Lawrence Leonard, in Norfolk, Virginia, on August 2 that “There is a probable cause to believe Okeke has conspired with several individuals to access computers without authorisation and using such access to cause the fraudulent wire transfer of funds.”

In his preliminary ruling, the presiding judge Douglas Miller at the Newport News, Virginia, federal courthouse, said the case is “complex,” hence Okeke should be remanded in prison until February 18, 2020 when the trial would continue.

Ahead of the Jury ruling, Special Agent Ward had said that illicit financial transactions were traced to a Gmail account believed to be owned by Okeke. Those transactions, he said, and conspiratorial communications with, at least six other emails, were carried out between 2016 and 2019.

He said the email came up in more than one investigations carried out by FBI agents. He said a confidential source told the FBI that the email account – iconoclast1960@gmail.com – was “had been used to receive stolen login credentials. The email account was also used to register fraudulent phishing domains.

Business Hilights gathered that the FBI agent said the investigations that nailed began in July 2018 after Unatrac Holding Limited, an export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industry and farm equipment, in the United Kingdom was defrauded of $11 million through a phishing scheme.

Here in Nigeria, Okeke had before his shocking arrest, posed a successful entrepreneur and was featured on a Forbes 30-under-30 list as well a BBC Focus on Africa program.

Okeke, the founder of Invictus Group, has a degree in International Studies and Forensic Criminology and Masters of International Relations and Counter-Terrorism Studies from Monash University in Australia, according to his official profile.

Before now, he has not only been invited severally to present motivational talks in youths’ development and empowerment workshops, but adjudged as a role model being a successful entrepreneur and managing deep pocket conglomerates.