Happy Chukwuma, a 30-year-old Nigerian man, has been sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment in Boston, United States, for his role in an online fraud scheme between 2015 and 2019.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Chukwuma’s sentence in a statement on Monday.
US Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock sentenced Chukwuma on Friday in a court under the District of Massachusetts.
He was arrested and detained in the United Kingdom in September 2022 and extradited to the United States in March 2023.
Chukwuma had pleaded guilty to his role in online fraud schemes in April 2023. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy.
A US federal grand jury had previously indicted Chukwuma and six others in August 2019 for crimes committed between 2015 and 2019. The United Kingdom authorities arrested Chukwuma in September 2022 and extradited him to the United States last month.
“Between November 2015 and January 2019, Chukwuma and his co-conspirators participated in a variety of online fraud schemes, including “phishing” and romance scams. They exchanged victims’ personally identifiable information, including identification and financial documents, and engaged in financial transactions with that information. Several of the victims whose information was compromised were from Massachusetts,” the DOJ stated.
“Phishing schemes mimic the appearance of legitimate websites to gather victims’ online credentials, including usernames, passwords, financial account information, social security numbers and other types of personal identifiable information. In romance scams, perpetrators generally create fictitious online personas to develop online romantic relationships with individuals in the United States, and then leverage those relationships to obtain money and property.
“Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.”
It has been recently reported that some websites and links leading to convincing but illegitimate web pages are now improved by artificial intelligence.
Cybercriminals around the world attack unsuspecting victims irrespective of their location.