Crime

How Chidozie Collins Obasi Defrauds New York State Of More Than $30 Million

How Chidozie Collins Obasi Defrauds New York State Of More Than $30 Million

How Chidozie Collins Obasi Defrauds New York State Of More Than $30 Million

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Nigerian man who was indicted and on the run from the law is accused of defrauding New York State of more than $30 million.

According to the United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero, Chidozie Collins Obasi, who is 29 years old and from Nigeria, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, six counts of mail fraud, and sixteen counts of wire fraud.

These charges are all the result of a sophisticated, constantly changing fraud scheme that started out by targeting Americans with a spam email campaign offering fake “work from home” jobs, changed its target during the COVID-19 pandemic to US hospitals and medical systems by advertising fake ventilators for sale starting in March 2020, and then again in June 2020 by using stolen identity information of US citizens to apply for and obtain Economic Injury Disaster Loans (“EID Loans”).

Chidozie Collins Obasi
Chidozie Collins Obasi

According to the statement that was obtained from the US government’s justice website, Obasi allegedly committed this fraud from Nigeria with the assistance of co-conspirators in Canada and other countries. Through this complex fraud plan, the defendant and his co-conspirators are alleged to have acquired more than $31 million, with the vast majority of that money – more than $30 million – coming from the State of New York for the intended purchase of ventilators.

The operation, according to the article, allegedly started in September 2018 with a spam email campaign that advertised fake “work from home” employment.

The article continued, “When a person responded to the fake job offer, Obasi or a co-conspirator pretended to be a representative of a real business—often a fictitious supplier of medical equipment based outside of the United States—and offered the person a job as the company’s U.S. representative with responsibilities that included collecting on past-due invoices.

According to the article, a co-conspirator in Canada then sent the new “employee” counterfeit checks that were ostensibly from the company’s clients. The new “employee” deposited the checks, kept a commission, and wired the remaining funds to a foreign bank account that was supposedly owned by the fictitious company. This is how Obasi and his accomplices allegedly acquired more than $1 million, according to the Indictment.

The indictment also claims that around March 2020, shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States and ventilators were in high demand, Obasi pretended to be a representative of an Indonesian medical supply company and offered ventilators for sale. He also allegedly claimed to have a sizable stockpile of ventilators made by a German company whose headquarters were in Telford, Pennsylvania. In order to trick the State of New York into wiring more than $30 million for the purchase of nonexistent ventilators, the defendant allegedly persuaded a medical equipment broker in the United States to broker sales of these nonexistent ventilators. Obasi persisted in using this similar trick to approach other potential clients, including hospitals.

The Indictment claims that Obasi and his accomplices used the EID Loan scheme later, around June 2020, by applying for and receiving more than $135,000 in EID Loan revenues using stolen identities of American residents.

According to the article, Obasi is currently on the FBI’s wanted list, and the US is seeking for him in order to detain him. Anyone with information on his location is advised to contact the FBI office closest to them.

The scariest statement in the article stated that Obasi may receive a maximum penalty of 621 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a $5,750,000 fine if found out and found guilty. Obasi will also be ordered to pay back in full the more than $31 million that he fraudulently obtained.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation, and Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. Lowe is handling the prosecution.

Crime doesn’t pay, as we frequently state on our website, but you may use your God-given skill to hustle lawfully and earn.

It’s ironic that he can escape, but he can’t hide, and the law will find him.

Please note that we cut and joined parts of the article in order to avoid search engine penalties. You can read the original by clicking the link below.

Source: justice.gov

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