Metro US to Sentence 25 Year-old Nigerian to 20 Years in Jail for $500,000 Fraud


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LequteMan

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Wiseman Oputa a 25 year-old Nigerian living in Houston Texas has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud involving several internet scams.

According to Acting US Attorney Abe Martinez, Oputa used counterfeit passports to open bank accounts in the greater Houston area and then worked with others to lure victims into sending money into these bank accounts.

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These funds were obtained through a variety of internet scams, including business email compromise, romance schemes and unauthorized intrusions into company email accounts. Checks or wire transfers were then sent from the company’s accounts payable to accounts Oputa or others controlled. Oputa would then use the counterfeit passports to retrieve the fraudulently obtained funds.

In one instance in December 2016, Oputa opened an account at Regions Bank with a counterfeit Ghanaian passport as identification. Shortly thereafter the account received a wire transfer of $40,000 from a victim who had been told to send money for taxes on money he had won in Spain. USAA Bank identified the fraud and was able to recall the wire.

He has raked in over $500,000 from the scams, reports say.

U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett accepted the guilty plea and has set sentencing for July 6, 2017. At that time, Oputa faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.


 

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