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Fraud and money laundering ring organizer from Mississauga sentenced by Florida court

Tampa, Florida (November 5, 2019) – Fraud and money laundering ring organizer, Ikechukwu Derek Amadi from Mississauga, sentenced by Florida court to 15 years in U.S. prison for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The dual citizen of Nigeria and Canada recruited so-called money mules for a Nigerian criminal organization. From 2012 to 2015, he has been accountable for at least $16.4 million in fraud proceeds from different types of schemes conducted by the organization. U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday ordered Amadi forfeiture for over US$10 million and to pay restitution to his victims of over US$4 million.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Florida announced in a statement that Ikechukwu Derek Amadi was sentenced by a Florida court for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with a fraud and money laundering organization based in Nigeria. The FBI led the investigation with support of the Toronto Police and the Toronto Strategic Partnership against the 38-year-old man from Mississauga who worked for the international criminal organization.

The organization ‘defrauded dozens of victims across the United States and then laundered the funds through a complex network of bank accounts. The organization, known as the Black Axe Group, or Neo Black Movement of Africa, coordinated fraud and money laundering activity throughout the globe via cells or ‘zones’ in Nigeria, Canada, the United States, and elsewhere,’ explained the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Florida in their statement.

According to court documents, the Black Axe Group conducted different types of online fraud such as romance scams, investment scams, BCE scams, etc. and persuaded their victims to wire money into numerous ‘funnel accounts’. Thereafter, the organization laundered the money through a global network of bank accounts. Usually, the accounts the victims direct their money to are controlled by so-called ‘money mules’ throughout the U.S. But before the fraud is discovered, the funds are quickly wired to other accounts all over the world.

From 2012 to 2015, Amadi was an organizer of the money mules in the U.S. During this time, the dual citizen of Nigeria and Canada has been accountable for at least $16.4 million in fraud proceeds. As organizer, he recruited more than a dozen individuals to act as money mules and oversaw their activities.

After his extradition to the U.S. from Canada, he pleaded guilty in July of this year. In October, the U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday sentenced Amadi to 15 years and 8 months in Tampa, Florida. Additionally, Amadi has been ordered forfeiture for US$10,632,546.36 – representing the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct – and to pay restitution to his victims of US$4,360,740.97.

Anyone who wishes to report information confidentially on this or a similar incident may contact D. Slenys at Investigation Counsel PC. Anyone who wishes to inquire fraud recovery information on their own case, or wishes to report fraud with whistleblower protection, please contact D. Slenys at 416-637-3151 or dslenys@investigationcounsel.com.