Seven bank fraud schemes, involving at least 10 victims and more than $5.7 million in intended losses, resulted in a sentence of 10 years in federal prison and ordered restitution of more than $905,000 for a former Washington, D.C., resident, the Department of Justice and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) reported.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the FDIC’s Office of Inspector General said that Michael A. Orji, 40, formerly of Washington, D.C., was sentenced June 21 after pleading guilty in October to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Orji, the agency stated, is a Nigerian national.
According to the two agencies, a statement of offense and related conduct acknowledged by Orji states that he participated in an ongoing conspiracy from August 2015 through November 2017 to commit a variety of financial frauds, primarily involving stolen checks and business e-mail compromise (BEC) schemes. “He then laundered the resulting proceeds through a network of fraudulent bank accounts, shell corporations, and co-conspirators in the District of Columbia and elsewhere,” the agencies said in a release. They noted that in a typical BEC scheme, a co-conspirator working online tricks a company or individual using “spoofed,” or fake, e-mails into transferring large sums of money into bank accounts controlled by those participating in the crime. Soon after the wire transfers are completed, the co-conspirators drain the bank accounts and launder the criminal proceeds.
The U.S. Attorney and FDIC alleged that Orji participated in at least seven bank fraud schemes involving 10 victims and 15 fraudulent accounts opened and controlled by the defendant under false names.
The schemes, the agencies said, generated $905,274.98 in actual losses and $5,717,596 in intended losses. The agencies alleged that Orji used false aliases and forged driver’s licenses in carrying out the crimes.