back to article Princely five years in US big house for Nigerian biz email scammer

A Nigerian scumbag will be spending the next five years in an American clink after pleading guilty to operating an email phishing scam targeting businesses around the world. Onyekachi Emmanuel Opara was given a 60-month sentence and ordered to pay $2.5m in restitution after pleading guilty to charges of wire fraud and …

  1. Oengus

    And in Australia

    I just saw on the news here that three Nigerians had been arrested for running what seems to be a similar business e-mail scam that netted them $3 million.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: And in Australia

      .. whilst being locked up..

  2. DougS Silver badge

    I thought the whole idea was they lived in Nigeria

    Pretty dumb of them to run this scam when they are within easy reach of the feds, instead of in a country that will almost never extradite their citizens to the US (or Australia, I presume)

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: I thought the whole idea was they lived in Nigeria

      Actually, they may want to be sent to Club Fed as some do not provide as luxurious accommodations for their guests. But that depends on the extradition treaties.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: I thought the whole idea was they lived in Nigeria

      yeah what _IS_ it about Nigeria that so many of these scumbags are its citizens... ?

      /me plays the 419 baiter "africa" video again, just for laughs - just look at those idiots holding up their signs!

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge

    The fine was only 10% of what they got? I would think full restitution of the $25M they got plus the fine would be appropriate. Or maybe keel-hauling.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      This is America we're talking about, once their lawyers have taken their fees the perps will be lucky to have $25 left let alone $25m.

    2. Aodhhan Bronze badge

      The fine may seem small, but the companies who were affected by the scam will file civil suits against the men to get their money back. Not only will the companies be awarded what was taken, but it's likely punitive damages will be awarded as well.

      When all is said and done, along with legal fees, these guys will be lucky to have any money left. Even if they had $20 mil in the bank before the scam.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Even if they had $20 mil in the bank before the scam."

        It would be very careless of them to have left much money in traceable bank accounts.

    3. EJ

      1) " attempted to con their targets out of more than $25m" - key word being 'attempted'.

      2) It never says what they netted total out of their attempts - the few examples they give add up to $710,000 - so the ability to compare the fine to their proceeds is impossible.

  5. MrMerrymaker

    It worked

    The surprising thing to me - other than the fact there's actual jail time - is that scamming seems to work.

    Though it does look a bit more clever than George Adgwgwgwnengo- exploiting the ignorance surrounding third party contracts, there's many lessons businesses could find in that.

    The dating scam mentioned at the end is pretty sad though. I just assume it's horny idiots doing anything for a pretty face. And there's no shortage of them... Even if there's a shortage of pretty faces who would talk to them in the first place!

    I'm glad the scammer are doing time, but I don't have much sympathy for the scammed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It worked

      Maybe if you were scammed then you'd have more sympathy for the victims?

      I once received an e-mail from a friend who asked me to purchase some CDs for their niece as they were out of the country on Biz and had forgotten to send a birthday gift. While it sounded pretty legit knowing my friend who travels a lot, I decided to send him a new e-mail to confirm the original e-mail which turned out to be bogus. His PC / e-mail / address book had been hacked while traveling and everyone in the address book received the same scam. While the loss would not have been tens of thousands of dollars, a similar scam could have netted many thousands. IMO these crims should spend a minimum of 10 years in prison and be forced to repay treble damages and be fined millions - which should keep them in poverty for the rest of their worthless lives.

  6. John70

    They not the Nigerian Prince's then?

  7. Hawkeye Pierce


    I've read the article but it's unclear... am I going to get my $10 million or not now?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Unclear

      am I going to get my $10 million or not now?

      I can arrange to have it sent to you. Please email me with your name, address, date of birth, a scan of your driving licence or passport. I will need to charge you a modest admin fee - get that to me via Western Union and we can get the ball rolling.

  8. Ima Ballsy

    Maybe they shoulda

    ... used these folks to handle the money transfer ...]

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Being easily scammed like this does indicate weak financial controls/lack of process in the firm being scammed.

    1. EJ

      They've got controls - they don't send money until it's been requested.

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    ordered to pay $2.5m in restitution

    Does "restitution" just mean fined or does that "restitution" actually all go to the victims?

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