Orlando, FL – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza today sentenced Okechukwu Iwuji (38, Orlando) to three years and six months in federal prison for mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. The court also ordered Iwuji to pay $55,149 in restitution, which represents the loss amount. Iwuji had pleaded guilty on April 19, 2023.
According to court documents, Iwuji acquired Personal Identifiable Information (PII) from the dark web and then accessed the Arizona Department of Economic Security/Unemployment Insurance Program’s (AZ-UI) website to create fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits on behalf of unsuspecting victims. As a part of his scheme, Iwuji used the PII to gain access to existing beneficiary accounts, changing the mailing address for where the benefits would be delivered. Some of the fraudulent benefits were sent to a post office box in Orlando that had been established as a part of the scheme.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranganath Manthripragada.