USA: Obinwanne Okeke, Nigerian young billionaire arrested by FBI

Obinwanne Okeke
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Young promising Nigerian billionaire Obinwanne Okeke has been arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for conspiracy to commit fraud amount to 12 million US dollars according to local media reports.

Obinwanne Okeke is the founder of Invictus Group

Obinwanne Okeke is being remanded in custody of the United States Marshal Service and held at 401 Courthouse Square, Alexandria, VA 22314, which serves as the district headquarters of the U.S. Marshall Service.

Mr Okeke, widely known as Invictus Obi, was arrested on August 6 in Alexandria, Virginia, just moments before he was scheduled to return to Nigeria.

He appeared before Michael Nachmanoff, a magistrate with the District Court of Eastern District of Virginia, on August 7 to answer charges of wire fraud. The charges were investigated by the F.B.I. and filed against Mr Okeke by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Upon a motion of the Government attorney, Mr Nachmanoff held a detention hearing and found that detention is warranted. During the hearing, Mr Okeke did not not argue for bond and the court accepted as factual the information contained in the pre-trial services report.

He then asked that Mr Okeke be detained pending conclusion of the preliminary hearing into his criminal case. He appeared without a lawyer, but the magistrate appointed a criminal defence attorney for him from the public defender’s office.

Mr Okeke, 31, has been widely celebrated in local and foreign media as a shining light amongst Nigerian youth. He said he founded Invictus Group, which has business interests in real estate, oil and gas, renewable energy amongst others.

Nigerian President’s head of digital communications Tolu Ogunlessi confirmed the reports through his post on twitter.

Some Nigerians have called out the alleged fraudulent act of the entrepreneur, while others think the Nigerian security agencies to learn from the FBI. But for now, the ball of the future of the business man is in the FBI’s court.

Okeke has investment in real estate development, energy and construction. His company, Invictus Group, operates in three African countries, which include Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia, says another portal Legit

In May 2017, The African Brand Congress awarded the Invictus Group of Companies Ltd the Africa’s Most Innovative Investment Company of the Year 2017 Award. And in October 2017.

He was nominated for Africa’s most prestigious award for businessmen, The AABLA Awards, in the category of Young African Business Leader (West Africa). Okeke is a regular contributor to the Forbes Africa Magazine where he shares his thoughts on entrepreneurship and investment in Africa.

The F.B.I. also found that Mr Okeke had duped an American shoe manufacturer and used several e-mail accounts which have previously been linked to fraudulent activities online and flagged in the F.B.I. database.

An 11-page affidavit detailing  on how Mr Okeke was identified as the culprit and why he should be immediately arrested and charged was published on U.S. government websites earlier this month.

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Michael Onas
Africa - Online Founder & Senior Editor Africa - Online.Com was founded by Michael Onas in 1997, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in African news sector, with millions of readers around the world and followers on social media.