A Nigerian man was arrested last week for allegedly stealing more than $22,250 online from a victim in Acadiana, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said Tuesday.
Vincent Izuchukwu Ezeocha, 27 of Nigeria, was arrested on one count of bank fraud, one count of felony theft, and one count of money laundering. The arrest was the result of work by the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation, Louisiana State Police and Homeland Security Investigations.
“Another citizen of Louisiana has unfortunately been victimized by an illegal immigrant,” Landry said in a prepared statement. “I am grateful to our law enforcement partners for working with my office to apprehend Mr. Ezeocha.”
Operating out of Chicago, Ezeocha allegedly contacted the Lafayette victim while purporting to be a New Mexico merchant with whom the victim had previously done business. Ezeocha allegedly arranged for another transaction and used Chicago bank accounts to route the illicit funds to himself. The New Mexico merchant had previously suffered a network intrusion that compromised the merchant’s email database.
“This case should be a reminder to businesses and consumers to take a few extra steps to keep their information safe online,” Landry added. “And this case is further proof of the need for comprehensive immigration reform.”
On Monday, LSP stopped Ezeocha for speeding in Tangipahoa Parish and determined Ezeocha was wanted by the LBI for felony charges in Lafayette Parish, at which time he was booked in Tangipahoa as a fugitive for LBI. On Wednesday, LBI agents booked Ezeocha in Lafayette on the specified charges. During the investigation, it was determined that Ezeocha was a Nigerian citizen, in the U.S. by way of a visa. Ezeocha had previously been detained in Chicago following a traffic stop in August, but was not held for extradition to Louisiana by the Chicago Courts despite the active warrant for his arrest in Louisiana.
A detainer has been placed on Ezeocha by HSI.