Obinwanne Okeke, the thirty-two-year-old Nigerian founder of the Invictus Group, has pleaded guilty to defrauding an American company of $11 million. This guilty plea was part of a plea bargain agreement entered into the with United States authorities in an exclusive legal document obtained by LAGOS TIMES.
As part of the plea agreement, Obinwanne Okeke has agreed to the following conditions, among others:
- To plead guilty to his crimes of defrauding Unatrac a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. of the United States of $11 million.
- List all his assets physical and otherwise held in financial institutions in Nigeria and all other jurisdictions globally to be forfeited to the United States government.
Mr Okeke admitted to United States’ prosecutors that he was actively involved in computer fraud between 2015 and 2019.
Joshua Stueve, a spokesperson for the United States District Court for Eastern District of Virginia, told the LAGOS TIMES on Thursday evening that Mr Okeke had agreed to plead guilty.
Mr Stueve declined to comment on the extent to which Mr Obinwanne was helping the United States’ government with their investigation specifically on whether Mr. Okeke would be helping the United States government with the names of his accomplices such as individuals and financial institutions in Nigeria and elsewhere.
Mr Okeke is expected to be sentenced on October 22 after Judge Robert Krask certified the guilty plea on Thursday morning, paving the way for Mr Okeke’s sentencing.
Mr Okeke had painstakingly built a rags-to-riches, public persona as a young, savvy businessman with extensive interests in energy, hospitality, real estate and renewable energy, granting countless interviews and delivering speeches until he was arrested while attempting to leave the United States of America in 2019.
He would later be indicted, alongside six unnamed suspects, of targeting US-owned businesses in elaborate global fraud schemes. In one scam, Mr Obinwanne and his accomplices stole over $11 million from Unatrac, a subsidiary of the global equipment manufacturer Caterpillar.
While Mr Okeke was being held in a United States’ prison, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria’s local anti-graft agency would later announce that it had seized assets from Mr Okeke.
Mr Okeke had earlier entered a non-guilty plea and his lawyer claimed that the crimes were not committed on United States’ soil. His lawyer Mr John Iweanoge also claimed that Mr Okeke was not read his Miranda rights and was effectively tricked into revealing his security passwords to US investigators.
Mr John Iweanoge, did not respond to a request for comment at the time of filing this report.