Invictus Obi to plead guilty to wire, computer fraud in US

Obinwanne Okeke

Founder of Invictus Group, Obinwanne Okeke, popularly known as Invictus Obi, has told United States’ authorities he is ready to enter a guilty plea following his arrest last August for wire and computer fraud.

Mr Okeke was charged with two counts of wire and computer fraud which he initially denied.

A senior US district judge, Rebecca Smith, approved the plea bargain arrangement in her Order of April 24, Premium Times reported late Sunday.

“The court has been advised that the defendant wishes to enter a plea of guilty. A United States Magistrate Judge is hereby authorised, with the consent of the defendant, to conduct the proceedings required by the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11 incident to the making of the plea. See 28 U.S.C. Section (b) (1); United States v. Dees, 125 F.3d 261 (5th Cir.1997),” Judge Smith said.

“The defendant may consent to the United States Magistrate Judge conducting the proceedings on a form provided by the clerk.

“If, after conducting such proceedings, the Magistrate Judge accepts the plea of guilty and the associated plea agreement, a presentence investigation shall be conducted and a report shall be prepared pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32, and a sentencing data shall be scheduled.

“If the plea of guilty is accepted, the District Judge will adjudicate guilt and will determine and impose a sentence.”

Magistrate Judge Robert Krask has been appointed to conduct the plea agreement hearing set for June 18 at the Norfolk Magistrate Courtroom 1.

Okeke, 31, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 6 in Alexandria, Virginia, as he was about to return to Nigeria.

US authorities say he defrauded the United Kingdom office of Unatrac of up to $11 million in business email fraud.

Unatrac filed complaints with the FBI through Caterpillar, though the company’s headquarters is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The two counts of computer fraud and wire fraud carry a maximum penalty of 10 and 20 years jail respectively, however, Okeke’s guilty plea may see him get lesser sentencing.