Another Nigeria may face about a 42-year jail term after being arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States of America for his involvement in an internet scam of nearly $1 million.
34-year-old Charles Onus faces five charges in connection with a scheme to conduct cyber intrusions of multiple user accounts maintained by a company that provides human resources and payroll services to employers across the US, in order to steal payroll deposits.
According to the US authorities, Onus diverted $800,000 (N320 million) into prepaid debit cards by hacking over 5,500 company user accounts through a scheme that he ran between July 2017 and 2018.
A statement released on the website of the US Justice Department revealed that Onus was arrested on April 14, 2021, in San Francisco and detained, and he will be presented later in a Manhattan federal court before Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave.
The case is assigned to US judge Paul G. Gardephe.
The statement read partly: "As alleged, Onus did this as effectively as someone who commits bank burglary, but with no need for a blowtorch or bolt-cutters. Thanks to the FBI and IRS-CI, Onus is in custody and facing serious federal charges.
"After Onus successfully gained unauthorised access to a company user account, he changed the bank account information designated by the user of the account so that Onus would receive the user's payroll to a prepaid debit card that was under Onus' control.
"From at least in or about July 2017 through at least in or about 2018, at least approximately 5,500 company user accounts were compromised and more than approximately $800,000 in payroll funds were fraudulently diverted to prepaid debit cards, including those under the control of Onus."