Date: June 29, 2020
On June 29, 2020, William Ogbonna was sentenced to over nine years in prison for his role in an international fraud conspiracy that stole over $3.9 million from hundreds of victims. Ogbonna was ordered to pay restitution of over $1.5 million in restitution to victims and $54,573 to the IRS for taxes due on the illicit income Ogbonna failed to report.
According to court documents, Ogbonna, originally from Nigeria and now a naturalized citizen, spent at least three years conspiring with local, national, and international conspirators to steal over $3.9 million from unwitting victims. The victims were subjects of lottery, inheritance, romance, and real estate scams, among other types of fraud, who were tricked into sending money to dozens of bank accounts Ogbonna opened in his name, in the fake name "Donald Miller," and in the name of various business entities he created to further the scheme. Ogbonna would take a percentage, and then send the remaining money to Nigeria, China, and other countries. The majority of victims were elderly, and many became destitute as a result of Ogbonna and his conspirators' actions.
"IRS-CI will continue to work with the Department of Justice to investigate swindlers who prey on the trusting nature of individuals in order to bilk victims out of their hard-earned money," said IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson. "Not only did Ogbonna steal millions of dollars from victims for his own enrichment, he further omitted this income on his tax return, evading payment of the taxes due on his ill-gotten riches."
"William Onyebuchi Ogbonna was an organizer and leader of a large, international conspiracy to defraud hundreds of victims, many of who were elderly, of millions of dollars," said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. "Elder justice has been a priority for this office for the past two years and this case is proof positive of that commitment. We are combatting these scams through education and awareness, deterrence, and prosecution."