From Lagos to Washington: The Shocking Tale of a Nigerian Scammer’s $5.7 Million Scheme

A Nigerian national, Uche Victor Diuno, has recently pleaded guilty to his role in a complex fraud conspiracy scheme that spanned across the United States and targeted victims in more than 20 countries.

This revelation was disclosed by the United States Attorney’s Office, with Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani providing insights into the case on Thursday, February 1.

At the age of 57, Diuno was identified as a key participant in an international fraud ring that employed deceptive tactics, offering victims false promises of lucrative investment opportunities and inheritances.

The far-reaching scheme resulted in staggering losses totaling nearly $5.7 million, marking a widespread impact on individuals and financial institutions globally.

The core modus operandi involved Diuno and his collaborators masquerading as officials from prominent U.S. banks, skillfully luring victims into making payments under the pretense of securing investment and money transfer agreements. The funds collected through this fraudulent means were then funneled back to the orchestrators of the scheme in Nigeria. Diuno, who pleaded guilty, acknowledged using multiple aliases to bolster the credibility of the scam.

In the pursuit of laundering the illicit proceeds, Diuno admitted to issuing instructions for various activities, including the purchase of vehicles in the U.S. with the intention of shipping them to Nigeria. These actions were carried out in accordance with directives from the leader of the fraud scheme, revealing a sophisticated and organized criminal operation with global reach.

This case sheds light on the growing threat posed by transnational fraud networks, emphasizing the need for international cooperation in combating such crimes. Diuno’s guilty plea underscores the intricate nature of these schemes and the willingness of fraudsters to adapt their tactics to deceive individuals and entities across borders.

In a parallel development, Nigerian billionaire businessman Mmobuosi Banye, also known as Dozy Mmobuosi, is grappling with fraud charges from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC alleges that Tingo Group, an agri-fintech innovator with operations spanning across Africa, including Nigeria, falsely claimed to have $461.7 million in its subsidiary Tingo Mobile’s Nigerian bank accounts when the actual amount was a mere $50.

Mmobuosi, who oversees three affiliated U.S.-based entities, including Tingo Group Inc., Agri-Fintech Holdings Inc., and Tingo International Holdings Inc., faces charges related to a multi-year scheme aimed at inflating financial performance metrics to deceive investors globally. These developments highlight the vigilance needed in the financial sector to safeguard against fraudulent activities, emphasizing the role of regulatory bodies in maintaining transparency and accountability.

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