Suffolk man sentenced to prison for $3.9M international fraud conspiracy


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A local man was sentenced on Monday to nine years in prison for playing a part in an international fraud conspiracy targeting elderly people.

According to court documents, William Onyebuchi Ogbonna, 44, was an organizer and leader of a large, international conspiracy to defraud hundreds of victims.

Officials say Ogbonna, originally from Nigeria and now a naturalized citizen, spent at least three years working with local, national, and international conspirators to steal over $3.9 million from unwitting victims. Common subjects used to trick them include lottery, inheritance, romance, and real estate scams, among other types of fraud.

Victims tell officials they were tricked into sending money to dozens of bank accounts Ogbonna opened in his name, under the fake name “Donald Miller,” and in the name of various business entities he created to further the scheme.

Ogbonna would take a percentage, and then send the remaining money to Nigeria, China and other countries, officials say.

“Elder justice has been a priority for this office for the past two years and this case is proof positive of that commitment. We are combatting these scams through education and awareness, deterrence, and prosecution,”

G. Zachary Terwilliger | U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia

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