Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 15, 2024
Nigerian Man Sentenced to 4 Years for Role in $1.1 Million Cyber Fraud Against Businesses, NonprofitSource: Unsplash/ Tingey Injury Law Firm

A 36-year-old Nigerian man, Victor Uzor, has been slammed with a four-year prison term for orchestrating a $1.1 million cyber heist that targeted businesses and a nonprofit organization, U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero disclosed. Uzor, who admitted to his crimes back in January, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Kelley Brisbon Hodge. In addition to his time behind bars, Uzor will serve three years of supervised release and cough up over $1 million in restitution.

The elaborate business email compromise (BEC) scheme that Uzor was a part of involved sending phony invoices to unsuspecting victim organizations as if they were coming from a legitimate vendor. The scam took advantage of an identity theft to open bank accounts where the ill-gotten gains would temporarily reside, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported. Uzor's quick transfers and withdrawals were essential to move the money before a fraud could be detected.

Not only did this fraudster pilfer from various businesses to the tune of $1.1 million, but he also had his hand in an unsuccessful attempt to snatch an additional $400,000. However, it was the theft from a Doylestown-based mental health care provider that underscored the depraved indifference Uzor and his co-conspirators had for their targets. This nonprofit serves as a lifeline to the marginalized, offering behavioral health care to the needy and underprivileged.

"First, Victor Uzor victimized the people whose identities he stole to facilitate this scheme," said U.S. Attorney Romero. "Then he helped prey upon the primary targets of the business email compromise, including a nonprofit organization in Bucks County dedicated to providing behavioral health care for an underprivileged and underserved — a safety net for those in need of care. In stealing from this provider, he shortchanged its employees, patients, and the community. My office is committed to holding accountable anyone involved in such a clear-cut case of fraud," according to U.S. Attorney's Office.

The FBI led the investigation with the prosecution spearheaded by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Livermore. With Uzor's sentencing, the Justice Department marks another win in its fight against sophisticated cyber crimes that impact both the economy and the social welfare of vulnerable populations.