The domestic intelligence and security service of the United States (US), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has declared six Nigerians who are on its list of most wanted people.
Nigerians on the US most wanted list include, Izuchukwu Uzuh, Abiola Ayorinde Kayode, Michael Olorunyomi, Richard, Alex Afolabi Ogunsakin, Felix Osilama Okpoh, and Nnamdi Orson Benson. They were all accused of executing a business email compromise (BEC) scheme.
The FBI said the suspects, through the scheme, defrauded more than 70 different businesses in the U.S., resulting in combined losses of over $6 million.
Uzuh, believed to be the leader of the gang, was indicted on 18 October 2016, in the US district court of Nebraska, Omaha, on charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
A federal warrant was issued on 19 October, for his arrest but he has gone into hiding since then, making it impossible for the efforts made to arrest him to yield any results.
The FBI poster declaring Uzuh wanted, said he and his co-conspirators sent spoofed emails to thousands of businesses in the US, requesting fraudulent wire transfers.
Uzuh was said to have worked with money launderers, romance scammers, and others involved in BEC schemes to launder the proceeds of other crimes through a complex network of witting and unwitting people in the U.S. and abroad.
Okpoh on his part was indicted three years later and accused of providing hundreds of bank accounts to Uzuh and other co-conspirators.
The accounts were allegedly used to receive fraudulent wire transfers running into $1million.
Okpoh was also indicted on 21 August with a warrant of arrest issued on 22 August.
Afolabi Ogunshakin, also declared wanted, was similarly accused of providing bank accounts to Uzuh and gang, to receive the fraudulent wire transfer.
The FBI alleged that Ogunshakin caught the bug of fraud, by staging his own BEC, after being an apprentice to Uzuh and others.
Similar to Okpoh, he was indicted on 21 August and a warrant issued for his arrest on 22 August.
Kayode, another fugitive, on the FBI list was accused of providing bank accounts to Uzuh. He was also alleged to have conducted BEC and romance scams of his own.
He was indicted the same day with Ogunshakin and Okpoh.
The 5th member of the gang, Benson, was also accused of making available bank accounts to the gang. He also staged his own scams.
Olorunyomi was not just a member of the six-man gang, he was said to have targeted vulnerable elders and widows in his scams.
He defrauded his victims of more than $1million.
He allegedly also aided the Uzuh group in providing bank accounts of his victims to be used for fraudulent wire transfers from other victims.
Olorunyomi was the last to be indicted on 13 November 2019 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, identity theft, and access device fraud.
A warrant for his arrest was issued on 14 November.