Internet Fraud: Court grants one of 80 FBI suspects N27 million bail


Ifeanyi Agwuegbo, one of the about 80 American residents of Nigerian origin who were arrested last month by the United States authorities, has been granted bail.

Mr Agwuegbo, named as one of the main suspects in a vast business email fraud busted by the F.B.I., appeared in a Texas court on August 27.

Peter Bray, an American magistrate who heard Mr Agwuegbo’s preliminary bail application at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, asked the suspect to be released on a bond of $75,000 (N27.2 million).

Mr Agwuegbo was also asked to provide at least $5,000 deposit and one surety whose signature must be obtained before the defendant could be released, according to hearing details seen by PREMIUM TIMES. He was remanded in custody because he did not immediately meet the conditions.

He was amongst at least 77 Nigerians indicted by the F.B.I. in a televised announcement on August 22. Several of them have been arrested, while others still at large are being tracked down by the F.B.I. and Nigerian authorities.

The F.B.I said the operation that exposed Mr Aguegbo and his alleged conspirators was coordinated amongst several state and federal law enforcement units in the U.S. Mr Agwuegbo was found to have been involved in business e-mail compromise, although the syndicate was also nailed for conducting romance scams amongst others.

Several arrests were carried out between early and late August in California and other American states. Mr Agwuegbo was subsequently charged in Texas on three counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

PREMIUM TIMES reached out to his lawyer in Houston, Texas, but she has not returned requests for comments as of Sunday afternoon.

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