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US court sentences Nigerian to one year and a day in prison for stealing

A Nigerian national, Augustine Amechi, 24, has been sentenced to one year and a day in the United States of America federal prison for the receipt of over $398,601.92, about N165 million, stolen funds.

He was sentenced by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

The crime was investigated by the US Secret Service, the Postal Inspection Service, among other agencies.

Amechi, who is residing in Huntington, West Virginia, USA and attended Marshall University, according to a court document, pleaded guilty to the charge in November 2021.

The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has declared that it is the Rivers State Government and not the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), that should collect Valued Added Tax (VAT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) in the State.

As part of his plea agreement, the Nigerian national would pay at least $192,762.19, about N80 million, in restitution.

Amechi was involved, from at least 2018 to March 11, 2021, with others, in a fraud scheme that took place in Huntington and elsewhere.

He admitted that his victims were convinced to send money for a variety of false and fraudulent reasons to bank accounts controlled by him in Cabell County through bank wire transfers, Western Union, Moneygram, money orders and cashier’s checks.

Amechi, according to the court, received approximately $108,601.92 directly deposited into his bank accounts from victims, over $150,000 in cash mailed in packages to his Huntington residence and over $140,000 in deposits from Zelle, while he transferred more than $15,000 to bank accounts in Nigeria.

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