A federal court convicted a Nigerian man of one count of wire fraud, stemming from creating numerous U.S. bank accounts with bogus passports and stealing at least $500,000 through wire fraud and Internet scams over the course of a year, the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Texas announced Thursday.
Wiseman Oputa, 25, pleaded guilty to opening bank accounts in the area surrounding Houston, using counterfeit passports. Once the accounts were created, Oputa and his associates conducted a number of Internet scams from romance schemes to hacking into company email accounts to make their phishing efforts appear more real.
The victims sent at least a total of $500,000 to these bank accounts via checks and wire transfers, which Oputa and his associates controlled. He would then use the bogus passports to withdraw the money from the accounts.
Oputa is scheduled to be sentenced on July 6 and faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a potential maximum fine of $250,000.
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