Joshua Ikejimba has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud. He was sentenced to two years in prison in the Southern District of New York.
Mr Ikejimba, who had many aliases, was part of a wide-ranging, international business email compromise scheme that ran from 2016 to July 2018. He was indicted in May 2019, along with another Houston man, Chinedu Ironuah and two Atlanta men. Mr Ironuah remains at large, while proceeding continue against the other two.
Mr Ikejimba obtained fraudulent passports in false names. He also registered shell companies and opened fake bank accounts at various banks throughout the US. Companies were tricked by fake emails and fraudulent wiring instructions into sending funds to bank accounts controlled by the syndicate. Mr Ikejimba laundered the funds at various check cashing facilities in Houston.
The defendants obtained approximately $8 million in this way. Mr Ikejimba was personally responsible for laundering $1.25 million in fraud proceeds.
Victims listed in the original indictment included
- Intergovernmental organization in New York ($188,815)
- Foreign-based healthcare company ($41,495)
- Foreign-based manufacturing company ($123,895)
In addition to the 24-month prison term, Mr Ikejimba was sentenced to three years of supervised release. He was further ordered to forfeit $1,250,766.03, and to pay restitution to his victims in the amount of $1,238,748.93.