Nigerian National Sentenced in Multi-Million Dollar Email Scam Targeting U.S. Businesses

United States PenitentiaryImage by Gerd Altmann

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Victor Uzor, a 36-year-old Nigerian national, has been sentenced to four years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his involvement in a sophisticated $1.1 million business email compromise (BEC) scheme. The United States District Court also ordered Uzor to pay more than $1 million in restitution to the victims of his crimes.

Uzor pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft, following an investigation led by the FBI. His crime involved collaborating with other fraudsters to deceive American businesses and individuals into transferring money into bank accounts he had opened under stolen identities.

The BEC scam typically saw co-conspirators impersonating legitimate vendors and sending fake invoices to unsuspecting organizations. Uzor’s role was crucial in creating a facade of legitimacy by opening bank accounts in the names of real people unconnected to the crime. This allowed his accomplices to funnel the stolen funds through these accounts, from which Uzor promptly withdrew or transferred the money, making it difficult for authorities to trace.

The scheme defrauded approximately $1.1 million from its victims and attempted to steal an additional $400,000. One notable victim was a nonprofit mental health care provider in Doylestown, PA, highlighting the callous nature of these crimes that prey on both vulnerable individuals and institutions providing critical services to the community.

United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero emphasized the dual harm inflicted by Uzor – first to the individuals whose identities he misappropriated, and then to the entities and people relying on the services of the victimized organizations. She reaffirmed her office’s dedication to pursuing justice against those who engage in such deceitful activities.

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Special Agent in Charge of FBI Philadelphia, Wayne A. Jacobs, also weighed in, underscoring the FBI’s ongoing commitment to disrupt and dismantle fraudulent schemes that target Americans, ensuring criminals are held accountable for their actions.

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