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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Photo: Nigerian man sentenced to over three years in U.S prison for fraud; ordered to pay $409,639 in restitution

Photo: Nigerian man sentenced to over three years in U.S prison for fraud; ordered to pay $409,639 in restitution

A Nigerian man from Texas was on Tuesday, October 30, sentenced to three years and four months in prison, likely to be followed by deportation, for taking part in years-long schemes that defrauded unwitting people from the U.S. and other countries of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Clement Onuama, 53, owned a legitimate auto sales and repair business near Arlington, Texas, which prosecutors said became a front for an operation that laundered money gained through a systemic and long-term fleecing of gullible persons. 
Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Onuama, from Arlington, Texas (formerly of Lagos, Nigeria), was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William B. Conley to 40 months in federal prison, and ordered to pay $409,639 in restitution.
In addition, the court ordered Onuama to forfeit as a personal money judgment, $409,639 in ill-gotten gains. 
Onuama’s co-conspirator, Orefo Okeke, was sentenced by Judge Conley on October 18, 2018, to 45 months imprisonment, and ordered to pay $582,955.90 in restitution to the victims.
On July 17, 2018, Onuama pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. Okeke and Onuama participated in multiple frauds by means of wires, including: romance frauds, business email compromises, identity theft, bank account takeovers, and credit card fraud. 
Onuama was found responsible for causing a fraud loss of $1,076,602. Onuama and Okeke acted as money launderers and funneled the fraud proceeds through multiple bank accounts before withdrawing it in the form of cash and cashier’s checks, all in increments of $10,000 or less.
At yesterday's sentencing, Judge Conley told Onuama that as a money launderer in this case, he provided the foundation for a sweeping fraud, and that his conduct, “caused untold damage to others. There has to be a consequence for that.”
In response to Onuama’s plea for mercy because his mistakes were causing harm to his children, Judge Conley told Onuama:
"You are not here because of a mistake. You are here because of intentional decisions to lie to bankers, and law enforcement about the sources of the money taken by fraud from the victims. These were not mistakes.”
The charges against Onuama and Okeke were the result of an investigation conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation. 
The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. Graber.



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