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FBI: ‘Most Wanted’ scam suspect caught

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) — A U.S.-born Nigerian alleged to have stolen $44 million from U.S. banks in a fraud scheme has been captured after four years on the loose, the FBI says.

The capture of Tobechukwu Enyinna Onwuhara was confirmed Monday by the FBI when the agency placed the word “captured” over his photograph on the agency’s “Most Wanted” website, Nigeria’s Leadership Newspapers reported.

The FBI did not say how and when Onwuhara, 33, was captured.

Onwuhara was born in Houston and sent to live with his father in Nigeria, whom the FBI said was a “notorious” scammer.

He returned to the United States in 1999 and was arrested in Texas in 2002 on allegations he used stolen identification to steal money from credit card accounts.

That same year he was arrested in Seattle after the FBI said he tried to withdraw the maximum allowed limit on a stolen credit card. He and another man were convicted and sentenced to two years in prison but released after eight months.

Beginning in 2005, Onwuhara stole the identities of homeowners with high equity lines of credit and used their identities to withdraw large sums of money from their credit lines, authorities said.

FBI records indicated Onwuhara and several alleged associates stole more than $20 million before the bureau was notified of the scam and another $20 million before the agency discovered their identities.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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