An Atlanta man who scammed a Dubuque company out of more than $60,000 in 2016 has been sentenced to one year in federal prison.
Ikenna Orakwelu, 33, was one of two people handed prison sentences this week in U.S. District Court in connection to the scheme, which stole more than $300,000, according to a press release.
Authorities said Orakwelu was a “money mule” who recruited his wife into a scam to trick people and companies into transferring money into accounts that he controlled. Victims included a Dubuque business described in court documents by the initials T.C.
Orakwelu posed via email as a representative from a company with which T.C. was working to secure financing to buy equipment. Ultimately, T.C. wired $63,875 to a bank account controlled by Orakwelu.
In total, Orakwelu and his wife — charges against whom ultimately were dismissed — stole more than $150,000, according to the release.
Orakwelu pleaded guilty to wire fraud, as did Schylunde Thomas, 27, also of Atlanta. Authorities said Orakwelu and Thomas did not know each other, but both participated in the same scheme.
Thomas stole $290,000, according to the release. She was sentenced to nine months in federal prison.