FBI declares Nigerian wanted for alleged $5 million email scam

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The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI, has declared a Nigerian, Kelechi Declan James, wanted.

The FBI made this known on its Twitter handle and its website on Friday.

According to the FBI, the accused has federal criminal charges against him from an investigation by FBI New York’s Cyber Crime Task Force.

As alleged in a complaint sworn out of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Mr. James, along with four other co-conspirators, ran an e-mail compromise scheme that resulted in losses of more than $5 million for their victims.

As part of scheme, the suspect and his co-conspirators allegedly defrauded victims across the U.S. by tricking them into wiring money to bank accounts the victims believed were owned by friends or business associates. They did this in two ways: by overtaking an e-mail account of an individual trusted by the victim and then requesting money be wired to a bank account; or by developing a relationship of trust with victim like an Internet romance and then asking the victim to wire money, the American agency said.

As soon as the money was wired, it would be moved from one account to another, and the funds would be withdrawn. Mr. James’s role in this scheme was to withdraw the money from bank accounts, the FBI said.

Kelechi Declan James
Kelechi Declan James

“James is known to frequent the Brooklyn neighborhoods of East New York (Crescent Street and Loring Avenue; Vermont Street between Blake Avenue and Dumont Avenue), Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant (MacDougal and Hull Streets), Crown Heights (Park Place and Utica Avenue), Flatbush (E 29th and Avenue D), and East Flatbush (East 51st and Winthrop Street),” the agency said.

The FBI offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest.


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  • Enemona

    Haba FBI! EFCC is offering 5% abeg. These are the guys messing up the country’s name. Shame!

  • Shahokaya

    Very hard working people that Sunusi Lamido would not the ‘lazy’ northerners to emulate. They are all over the globe doing their things from Malaysia to Canada, from South Africa to Korea, from Brazil to China.

    • walter enang

      Are you insinuating your people are doing great?. ..kidnapping little girls and forcing them to become sex slaves to terrorists, blowing innocent people up with bombs in the name of Allah? ..young northern women and their mothers begging everywhere, amputees all over the place scavenging? I had rather take money from the white man than see my wife and daughter begging on the street

      • Onike24

        Who are his ” people”? His statement is flawed as is your reply. We will never move forward as long as we keep peddling shockingly bigoted ethno stereotypical opinions.

        • Otile

          The tribal insults and jabs are wholesome. They help to solidify the resentment and divisions so that when the time comes there will be nothing to look back for, it will be total breakup and break down for one Nigeria. Awon omo Odua are in the vanguard. Mu je musameshi.

          • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

            “Mu je musameshi” means what?

          • Julius

            Nothing… but in his empty head who knows !

          • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

            Hi Juli,long time,u dey mind some baboon looking in the mirror to accuse the image baboon of being the real baboon.

          • Julius

            Lmaooooooooo, yes ooo…u don talk am finish !. I dey fine sir thanks, hope all is well with you also. That otile calling himself an intellectual is a fraud as you can see. No mind him.

          • Otile

            Allah. You are a total failure. All your useless life you have been serving the Hausa Fulani, and you have even adopted their religion, yet you can’t understand simple hausa language. If you can’t understand the simple hausa command “Muje musameshi” what good are you to your slave masters? Don Allah, how do you serve them well? Your moniker even suggests that you are a mujihad of the Taliban. In other words you are a weakling posing as a tough jihadist. As a devout Muslim when called upon by your imam to carry out suicide bombing, can you do it? Coward.

          • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

            Otile,ti le,he is a coward. All he knows is throw insults at people.

          • Tola

            So when you destroy the trust irretrievably how do you accommodate your brother who is in the remotest part of Sokoto who sells his wares peacefully. Many of these talks are from the heart not from the head. The Germans desire European unity because their products and people are all over Europe. You not only want separation, you want it with poisonous animosity that will destroy the livelihood of your people.

          • Julius

            The moron don’t and can’t reason well. You can see that.

    • Onike24

      His Eminence never said that northerners were lazy, he said they adopted a fatalistic nihilistic interpretation of Islam. Northerners are not lazy, that is stereotyping; and the Emir will not do that. The truth is painful but it most be said. He has behaved as a true trustee of power.

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

        Good!

    • Tola

      Better if the elites of the North embrace and promote the modern interpretation of Islam being championed by the Emir. The dangerous view by Yari that God visits the community with disease for the sin of others is ideologically a stone throw from Boko Haram/ISIS territory. Their ideology is kill the infidels so that their God will be appeased. Just weaponising the Yari postulation.

  • Ifeanyi

    “The FBI offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest”

    ….only? Wishing the FBI Good luck. Whistleblowers in Nigeria earn much more…

    grabs my whistle…

    • wazobia decomposition !!!!!!

      lolxxxx!!!!

      was thinking the same rhing ………..what insult …………………

    • Julius

      lolz, yes ooo. You get more than that ratting on the drug dealers …chei, they figure we are cheap ! Double insults to us Nigerians if you ask me.

  • Give igbo-biafra their own passport, they’re bent on further ruining the image of this nation.

    • Onike24

      Bigotry, gets us nowhere

      • Tola

        Unfortunately for the bigots no ethnicity is mentioned in the story. It is Nigeria, Nigeria, Nigeria. To anybody from Asia, the Americas or Europe, this is another Nigerian scammer. We better get together and deal with our problems rather than pointing fingers.

        • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

          What do we get when all we celebrate is fraud. Yahoo zee,yahoo plus,all our young musicians flaunt the wealth nobody knows how they got it. It is fraud,fraud,fraud everywhere.

  • Girlie

    There you are Nigerians at it as usual hard at work doing what they do best defrauding,then go about call other people lazy,they know each other s whereabouts but their homies won’t give them up and expect the world to feel empathy for them as not all of them are corrupt while in fact are in complicity with their homies by lying for them.

    • Solomon Brown

      Totally senseless comment. Aren’t there theives and liars from whatever hell hole you originate from, do we then label you all as criminals, cos of the actions of a few? Deplorable!

      • Michael

        The problem is that it’s not the actions of a few. Nigerians are intrinsically dishonest- complete rogues.

        • Alpha

          So it may seem, but not true! Nigerians are naturally bold, inventive and daring, therefore those inclined to crime can be devious.

          Don’t blame them for regarding and treating you and your country as timids.

        • Solomon Brown

          Does that include you?

  • amazing2012

    Igbo kweno, Igbo kwezuenoooooooo!

    • Otile

      Oduafrauian posing as Awusa kwenu, imposter kwezuonuoooooooo! Allah.

      • Julius

        I coined the term biafraudians now, you are trying to do the same for Oduduwa. lolz. Dude, it doesn’t sound right at all. You failed biggly !! Try again.

        • SAM .A

          Copy cat , when their own steal , it is business and smartness, they embrace him as genius . when others do it they all come out here wailing , shed tears , foam, and shout themselves hoarse.

          • Julius

            You got it but, we all know their way of life ! Hypocrite is the word !

  • El Patron

    $1000 reward for a crime of over $5m. They are not serious at all. It’s far more profitable to blow whistle in 9ja

  • Delta_Quagmire

    Mad man!

  • Otile

    Are you talking about Buruji? Kasumu Buruji is Oduduwafraudian not Biafran.
    Shango a gbe yin oo.

    • Julius

      There you go…moron. Come over here and see what ya people are doing . I’m even surprised this makes the news from the FBI. Don’t worry, if he is deported, you will get him a new visa to come back to the U S..abi. I’ll give him some credit tho, at least he is not using a Yoruba name.

  • Smart

    These are the same people emir sanusi said are more developed, intellectual and religiously updated than the northerners, chai diaris God oooooooooooo.

  • Bendow Omokorie Obasi

    Dis FBI people no well. Blowing my whistle for a crime of $5000000 for just $1000 pay. Na una corrupt pass.

    • Impulse400

      You took the words right out of my head. This FBI’s are just cheap skates. No wonder it is more profitable to be a whistle blower in Nigeria than in the USA.

  • paul irumundomon

    He will soon appear on the board of apc or pdp, they are friendly with criminals, nation of fraud stars. You can never hear story when a Nigerian name is mentioned, without one crime or another attached, because back home in nigeria, their parents encourage Nigerians to be criminals everywhere they travel to. Just last week, lagos made another Nigerian wanted America, a trustee, of another branch of apc party, designed to defraud the party, just to satisfy another single individual in lagos state.

  • Tunji Olarewaju

    Who dares declared a potential Senator wanted? I say who dared? It’s time we invite the head of the FBI (or even Trump) to come and explain this nonsense before the Sinnate!

    • Julius

      lolz.

  • easyman16

    Shame on you FBI,,, just1k for 5M? You will blow the whistle your self

  • Snipar

    Why not begin your ethnic negative stereotype by announcing which tribe you come from… I hope you will aacept this challenge.
    Only your type with small mind sees everything through a narrow tribal prism, broaden the spectrum and they become miserable.

  • Alpha

    I wonder how you fail to see Kelechi’s ingenuity, though wrongly applied. Try some ‘scripting’ to ‘dethrone’ an owner of his email account and see what I mean. I hope after serving his impending terms, he will learn to deploy his hacking on a legal endeavors.

    • Enemona

      “Mr. James’s role in this scheme was to withdraw the money from bank accounts, the FBI said.”

      Where’s the hacking skill???

  • Julius

    Hahahahahahahaha, you need Jesus !!

  • Onike24

    How are you fighting back? By demonising everyone that comes from east of the Niger? By the way are those clamouring for Biafra the only Igbo’s in Nigeria? Keep fighting each other, whilst those in power keep storing millions of dollars… absolutely ridiculous

  • Onike24

    Look don’t conflate issues, I am in diaspora and I understand your alarm at the rubbish Kanu and his ilk were spreading; my point is we have to make a distinction between those ordinary hard working committed Nigerians of Ndigbo extraction, and those noise makers who seek to profit from the confusion they cause. They are not the same and to do is to start something that will not end well.

  • walter enang

    Full text of Muhammadu Sanusi II’s speech:

    CHIBOK AND THE MIRROR IN OUR FACES: SOME REFLECTIONS ON GENDER IN OUR SOCIETY

    BY

    HIS HIGHNESS MUHAMMAD SANUSI II, CON SARKIN KANO

    [Being Text of Speech given at the 1st Chibok Girls Annual Lecture, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Nigeria, April 14, 2017]

    In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful.

    It is a great honor for me to have been invited to speak on this landmark occasion of the third year of the atrocious and barbaric attacks in Chibok that led to the capture of hundreds of young girls from the school. In three years Nigerians have been horrified by this act and the consequent crimes of forced marriages, forced labour and may be even sale into slavery. Let me begin by congratulating my sister and friend Oby Ezekwesili and all the other sisters and brothers in BBOG who have kept this issue alive and remain committed until we see all the girls back.

    As we remember the girls captured in Chibok three years ago, we must remember that they constitute only a fraction of the victims of this insurgency. I would urge BBOG, while you keep this issue of Chibok on the table, to broaden your message to cover all girls and boys abducted by BH, and also draw attention to the condition of girls and women in our society in general.

    To give you an idea of the extent of this problem, as at today, in Dalori 2 IDP camp near Maiduguri alone, there are over 1,500 BH-abducted girls who are either pregnant or carrying babies, who have been freed by the military. Hundreds of orphaned children are being carried away to unknown destinations and they are all gone into oblivion due to society’s neglect. It is therefore critical, for the BBOG to gain much broader support in the populace and be more effective, to use the dramatic case of the Chibok girls as a referent and a plank, but not the exclusive focus of its struggle. Our interest should be in Bringing back all our girls. But after these girls are brought back, shall we ask ourselves as well: where are they being brought back to? What kind of society? How much better is the “normal” environment we all take for granted than Boko Haram camps?

    These questions ultimately force us to face the reality that the kind of society we have created in fact is the root cause for the emergence of groups like Boko Haram and occurrences like the Chibok tragedy.

    All my life, I have been engaged deeply with the question of women and the oppressed and marginalized groups in our society. I have come to accept, like you, that remaining committed to this discourse is a risky and potentially costly venture in this environment. The elite consensus is about a culture of silence and complicity, where everyone remains in his or her comfort zone, and where the voiceless majority are allowed to remain where they are.

    The argument, it seems, is why should you care about poor rural women when you are able to educate your own daughters in the best schools in the world? Why should you hold up a mirror to our faces, expose our unclean underbelly and remind us of the brutish life to which, over many decades, we have subjected a large mass of our population?

    Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the North-East and North-West of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat the noise is yet to die down. But what really are the facts? The oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the UNDP in 2015 published data on the incidence of poverty in Nigeria showing that, on average, 46% of Nigerians are living in poverty. This is based on the UN’s Global Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index which focuses on Education, Health and Living Standards. Although this average is in itself bad, it masks even more serious internal inequalities and incidences of extreme poverty by region and gender. So for example the South-West of Nigeria has less than 20% of its population living in poverty while the North-West

    has more that 80% of its population living in poverty. In the North-East the figure is 76.8%. Over 90% of the people in Yobe and Zamfara States are living in poverty compared to 8.5% in Lagos and around 11% in Osun and Anambra states.

    The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voices that dare shine the light on the society to which we are saying Bring Back our Girls. There are those who believe these attacks are aimed at discrediting me personally but even if that is the objective it will not work. I can only be discredited by what I have done and not by insults and lies on the Social-media. And in any event, personal criticism has no impact on the issues.

    These attacks are aimed at diverting attention from the issues raised and all of us who are involved in this struggle must remember a few things. We are dealing with an anti-intellectual environment, and with people whose failure has bred a sense of insecurity which leads to incomprehensible, almost insane, reactions to simple advice. Secondly, that these problems are deep-seated and have been there for a long time so changing mind-sets will be a difficult and painful process. Finally we must never succumb to the temptation to join our opponents in the gutter. You may say what you like about me for as long as you like, so long as you address the issues. As Michelle Obama famously said: “when they go low, we go high”.

    Instead of hiding these statistics and being scared of repeating them, what we need to do is bring out even more of these data. These are already published and easily verifiable but not often discussed in the public space. But these data help us understand what poverty means for girls and women.

    According to published research:

    1. Over 70.8% of women in North-West are unable to read and write compared to 9.7% in the South-East zone;

    2. More than 2/3 of 15-19 year old girls in the North are unable read a single sentence compared to less than 10% in the South;

    3. In 8 northern states, over 80% of the women are unable to read and write

    4. Only 4% of females complete Secondary schools in Northern Nigeria;

    5. 78% of adolescent girls are in marriages in the North West, 68% in the North East and 35% in the North-Central-these numbers clearly mirroring the poorest regions in the country. The statistics in the other zones are 18% in SS, 17% in the SW and 10% in the SE.

    6. Apart from the huge loss of productivity and incomes caused by the lack of focus in education, especially for girls, adolescent marriages have led to serious social and health outcomes. One Nigerian woman dies in childbirth every 10 minutes. The NE zone has maternal mortality rate of over 1,500 per 100,000. This is more than five times the global average. I can go on and on.

    These statistics are not flattering. And they speak to a truth that is inconvenient to most of us. But the culture of silence must end. We have a problem. In fact we have an existential crisis. And all of us in this country, politicians, intellectuals, Emirs and traditional rulers, religious leaders, businesses, NGOS have to come together to solve this. The real patriots in the North are those who are honest enough to accept this reality and insist on change.

    The consequences of ignoring this crisis are unimaginable. And I wonder if the public generally recognizes this. It is a vicious cycle. Children of educated mothers are 50% more likely to survive beyond the age of 5, and educated mothers are more likely to send their own children to school. Meanwhile every extra year of education for the girl child could increase her earning capacity by 10%. Infants born to a mother under 18 suffer from 60% higher risk of dying in the first year of their life when compared to infants born to a mother aged 19 or older. Girls who become pregnant below the age of 15 in poor countries have double the risk of maternal death and obstetric fistula than older women. In addition, girls under age 15 are 5 times more likely to die from maternity related causes than women under 20.

    The statistics that are provided therefore represent the tragedy in the lives of real human beings. This problem is most severe in the NW and NE but the North-Central zone also fares worse that the three zones in the south.

    Let me state at this point that the issues faced by women go beyond girl-child education, early marriage and poverty. Educated women still have to deal with issues of equal opportunities in the work-place, and unwritten but no less real gender discrimination.

    As Governor of Central Bank and Chairman of the Bankers’ Committee I forced the question of addressing the gendered work-place to the fore. We officially adopted a policy of aiming for at least 50% of employees of banks and the CBN being female by 2014. Also to address glass ceilings we pushed for at least 40% of Senior Management in the CBN and banks, as well as 30% of the Board of Directors being female.

    By the time I left Central Bank I had ensured that the myth that women were only good enough to run Human Resources and Medical Services which are more suited to what is called, rather condescendingly, their “nature”. In addition to these two departments, I appointed women as directors in charge of core technical areas in the Central Bank including Banking Supervision, Risk Management, Consumer Protection, Internal Audit, Branch Operations and the Governor’s Special Adviser on Environmental, Sustainability and Governance Policies.

    By deliberately pushing for the promotion of outstanding and highly competent female staff, we showed the Industry what could be achieved by women. We also developed and launched in 2013 a N220 billion MSME development fund with a condition that 60% of it is to be devoted to female entrepreneurs and businesses. I declared 2012 as ‘’the year of women economic empowerment’’ and trained NDIC and CBN employees and Management Staff on sustainability and gender. Also, in collaboration ILO, we launched FAMOS (Female and Male Operated Small Business) toolkit specifically to measure how financial institutions serve their female clients.

    I am going over this now to make the point that my engagement with issues of gender and opportunity for women did not begin when I became emir, and my current engagement with forced marriages, domestic violence, arbitrary divorce, property and maintenance rights for women etc. is not new. It is also not a politically-motivated attack on any group.

    The point I seek to stress is that BBOG needs to transform itself from a group defined by the narrow focus on an incident, to one that addresses the broader social reality of African women, and particularly women in Nigeria, especially the North.
    We all claim to be horrified by what BH has done. We all call this primitive and barbaric. They forcefully took young girls out of school, forced them into marriages without their consent or love, impregnated them and turned them into mothers at a young age and exposed them to serious health risks, may be inflicted beatings and verbal abuse on them.

    We are all horrified. Really. But let us pause a little. These things that horrify us, do they not happen every day in every village in northern Nigeria and some parts of the South? Do these girls complete their education? Do they all grow up and give their consent to marriage when they are old enough to? Does domestic violence not happen?

    It is often not the fault of the girls or their parents. What do they do if there are no educational and health facilities made available to the poor? So the discourse on gender has to be looked at in the context of the discourse on poverty and governance. And this is why many people are not comfortable. The fact is that poverty in the North and in Nigeria, is not inevitable but a result of decades of failed social policy. It is only by recognizing this and accepting it that we can even hope to make progress. If we do not, then the society to which these girls are brought back will be no better than where they are now.

    Let me conclude with a few remarks. Anyone who challenges a system or fights for the voiceless must be ready for a serious backlash. Character assassination, slander, blackmail and intimidation are the normal tools employed by those who defend and profit from the status quo.

    The poor people for whom you fight are voiceless by necessity. Those of us who are fortunate to be part of the elite and who choose not to speak for them are voiceless by choice. We want to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the pain of being insulted and abused on social media. We want to hold on to the small comforts of our status. We want access to power and to be seen as friends of those in power and members of our inner-circle. We are afraid of being destroyed by ruthless state machinery. We have a morbid fear of being isolated, of not belonging to an exclusive club close to power.

    The reality is that everything in this world is fragile. Life itself will come to an end and we lose money and position and loved ones all the time. The only thing we have control over is who we are, what we stand for, what we represent. Being a coward or a sycophant will not add one day to your life or one day to the term of any of the things you hold dear. The worst silence is that which happens in the face of injustice. Do not be intimated. Do not be silenced. Do not betray your conscience or sell your soul. Do not fear any human being. Stand up and take all the bullets that are fired at you but never kneel down. If you have to die, please die standing and not on your knees. Most important, ignore the noise. Do not defend yourself too much against personal attacks because they want your person, not the issues you raise, to be discussed. I know it is tough, I go through this every day, but I have learnt that after all the insults and blackmail the issues remain and will not disappear until they are addressed. That is your task, put these issues on the table and do not walk away until they are resolved.

    Thank you for your kind attention and we pray that Allah return all our girls and boys safely to a better society.

    Muhammad Sanusi II, CON Sarkin Kano

  • Alpha

    Agreed, but remember that there are more cyber defence available in where he ply his ‘trade’ you may not be aware of…

  • ben afflect

    Haaaaaaaaaa … If FBI serious to see the guy, make them increase the reward to $50,000 USD .. It’s would take only 2 hours before an igbo man likely his blood brother to sell him out to the feds. I lie?

  • Ibrahim Ahmed

    Their whistles are very very cheap

  • walter enang

    Beggar tribe with all the worst diseases in the universe. Leprosy. Poverty. Illiteracy. Pan handling. Homosexuality. Pedophillia. Amputees everywhere. Hunch backs. Wooden limbs. HIV. AIDS. Drug addiction. Male prostitution. Children molesting. Sex with animals. Backwardness. ..etc. God doesn’t punish for nothing. I feel sorry for you.