The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has declared Kelechi Declan James, a Nigerian, wanted for allegedly defrauding victims across the States by tricking them into wiring money to bank accounts.
According to a publication issued on Friday on its website, James is wanted on “Federal Criminal Charges Relating to a Fraudulent E-Mail Scheme That Resulted in Victim Losses of More Than $5 Million.”
It is understood that the accused has federal criminal charges against him from an investigation by FBI New York’s Cyber Crime Task Force.
James is 32 years old, 6’0″ tall, and approximately 175 pounds. He is a Nigerian national, has brown eyes and black hair, and may have a beard. Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of James is urged to contact law enforcement immediately.
As alleged in a complaint sworn out of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, James, along with four other co-conspirators, ran a business e-mail compromise scheme that “resulted victim losses of more than $5 million.”
As part of scheme, James and his co-conspirators defrauded victims across the U.S. by tricking them into wiring money to bank accounts – the victims believed were owned by family members, 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.
As soon as the money was wired, it would be moved from one account to another, and the funds would be withdrawn. James’s role in this scheme was to withdraw the money from bank accounts.
The Premier investigation agency is offering a $1,000 reward for information that will lead to his arrest.
The FBI can be reached 24 hours a day at (212) 384-1000.