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Omaha couple defrauded of $131,485; foreign national sentenced for wire fraud

Posted at 5:52 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 18:52:52-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced in a press release Monday that 37-year-old Jude Uzochukwu Ifeanyi has been sentenced in Omaha for wire fraud.

Senior United States District Judge Joseph F. Bataillon sentenced Ifeanyi to 41 months in federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system.

After being released from prison, Ifeanyi will have one year of supervised release.

Ifeanyi is to pay restitution in the amount of $262,895 to several identified victims as ordered by Senior Judge Bataillon. He will also be deported to Nigeria after serving his sentence.

An FBI investigation showed that from May 23, 2018 to May 25, 2018, Ifeanyi and co-conspirators developed a scheme in an effort to defraud an Omaha couple of $700,000. Ifeanyi and his co-conspirators were located in Nigeria.

According to the press release, they compromised the Omaha couple’s email and while conducting unauthorized surveillance of the email account, Ifeanyi and his co-conspirators identified a financial transaction that was to take place relating to the purchase of property in the State of Florida.

They sent fraudulent emails to the Omaha couple that appeared to have been from the sellers of the property. The emails directed the couple to use “alternate wiring instructions” when paying for the property. This however directed the payment to be made to an unauthorized third-party bank account.

The victims were able to recover a portion of the wire transfer but did lose $131,485 once the scheme was discovered.

Over the course of the investigation, the FBI determined that Ifeanyi and his co-conspirators had other schemes that had similar goals of defrauding victims across the United States. The FBI identified nine other victims will a total loss of $1,581,655.

An Indictment charging Ifeanyi was filed in the United States District Court in the District of Nebraska on Aug 21, 2019.

Ifeanyi was extradited from Spain, where he was living at the time, to the United States under FBI supervision on Dec 30, 2020.

Ifeanyi’s co-conspirators who were involved with the criminal activity remain under investigation by the FBI.

“The sentencing today of Jude Uzochukwu Ifeanyi sends a strong message to criminals who carry out business email compromise schemes. The FBI takes this financially damaging threat seriously. We will continue to find and arrest criminals who target members of our community, regardless of where they commit their crimes from,” said FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel.

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