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Thursday, 25 February 2021

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UPDATE - U.S authorities list ways it will recover $10.7m restitution from convicted Nigerian fraudster, Obinwanne Okeke

 


US authorities have listed ways it will recover $10.7 million ordered

to be restituted by the convict, Obinwanne Okeke.

 

Recall that on February 16, Okeke was sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Eastern District Court of Virginia following his guilty plea to multi-year wire fraud in June last year. He was also ordered to undergo three years of “supervised release” after serving his complete jail term.

 

Upon completing his jail sentence, the Forbes celebrated Nigerian entreprenuer will be presented before a duly-authorised immigration official of the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement “for deportation review".  The official will determine whether to immediately deport him or make him undergo the three years “supervised release” in the U.S.

 

Premium Times has now obtained a ‘Restitution Order’ and ‘Consent Order of Forfeiture’ jointly signed by the judge, the Acting U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, Raj Parekh, Mr Okeke, and his defence lawyer, John Iweanoge.

 

The U.S. authorities are empowered to enforce the monetary judgment by taking over assets, credit, or monetary claims Mr Okeke may have in the country. The restitution is due in full and payable immediately from assets known and unknown and including assets identified in the Presentence Report. 

 

The assets include his “white gold emerald cut engagement ring with small accent diamonds”. The other forfeited assets are ”two cars back home in Nigeria”, and N280,555,010 translating into about $700,000 which the Nigerian government had seized from him.

 

Mr Okeke was also urged “to participate in the Bureau of Prisons’ Inmate Financial Responsibility Programme” to enable him to comply with the provisions of the financial plan” and to meet his “financial obligation” in accordance with the law. He is also expected to make periodic payments during his three years of supervised release.

 

The court ordered that beginning from 60 days of his release from prison and transiting into the supervised release phase, the convict will pay either $1,000 or 25 per cent of his net earnings, whichever is greater.

 

The restitution order read in part:

 

“If restitution is not paid in full immediately, the defendant shall pay to the Clerk at least $1,000 per month or 25 per cent of net income, whichever is greater, beginning 60 days after release from any period of confinement, or 60 days after sentencing if no confinement is imposed.

“All payments shall be made to the Clerk of Court, United States District Court, 2400 West Avenue, Newport News, Virginia 23607.”

 

The restituted funds will be distributed to companies which fell victim to Okeke's fraudulent activities. They are Unatrac Holdings LLC in Washington DC, which was duped $5,429,166.54; Orient Insurance PJSC, duped $ 5million, and QBE European Operations which lost $250,000 to the fraudsters.

 

The court ordered that the Clerk of Court “shall distribute the funds to Unatrac first and to the remaining victims on a pro-rata basis.”

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