A Sandy Springs man pleaded guilty in federal court and was sentenced to 40 months in prison for committing wire fraud in an international business email compromise syndicate.
Ifeanyi Eke, aka Luther Mulbah Doley, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman in the Southern District of New York. In addition to his prison term, he was sentenced to three years of supervised release, was ordered to pay $365,205 in fines, and must pay $2.7 million in restitution to his victims.
“As he admitted today, Ifeanyi Eke played a key role in an international conspiracy that deceived and defrauded dozens of victims of nearly $3 million,” U.S Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a news release. “Fittingly, Eke has been sentenced to prison and ordered to make restitution to the victims of the conspiracy.”
Between 2016 and July 2018, Eke and his co-conspirators perpetrated the business email compromise scheme, deceiving dozens of foreign and domestic victims, according to the release. Eke and his codefendants, Cyril Ashu, Joshua Ikejimba and Chinedu Ironuah convinced their victims into wiring millions of dollars to bank accounts their syndicate controlled, according to allegations in the indictment, court filings and statements made during court proceedings.
The conspirators sent victims “spoofed” emails claiming to be from others whom the victims knew and trusted. The spoofed emails contained instructions directing the victims to send funds to the syndicate’s bank accounts.
Eke personally received wire transfers of fraud proceeds from several victims. Those included an intergovernmental organization headquartered in New York that was defrauded into sending $188,815 to his bank account. Once he received the fraud proceeds, Eke withdrew them and transferred them for his own use and to share with co-conspirators.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Eke managed and supervised other members of the conspiracy. He is responsible for losses to 35 victims totaling $2.7 million.