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Home Opinions Insight & Analysis 3 Africans Who Got their Wealth Fraudulently 
Insight & Analysis - February 12, 2022

3 Africans Who Got their Wealth Fraudulently 

These African fraudsters built their extravagant lives through plethoras of criminal schemes like embezzlement, scamming and money laundering.

Fraud isn’t a new term in today’s world, the internet and news are full of people that have committed enormous fraudulent crimes all over the world. Some Africans have also gotten their wealth fraudulently. This crime involves the intentional withholding of vital information or the making of false representations to another party with the intent of obtaining something that would not have been granted without the deceit.

Fraudsters frequently have access to information that the intended victim does not, allowing them to fool the victim. At its core, a fraudster exploits information asymmetry, namely, the fact that the resource cost of examining and validating that information might be high enough to create a disincentive to fully invest in fraud prevention.

There are different types of fraud which includes embezzlement, identity theft, money laundering, bribery, and scamming. 

While the internet has given us access to more information than ever before, the digital age has also made it easier for scammers to carry out their schemes. Scammers have devised a plethora of ways to get their hands on other people’s money, from fake social media posts to financial account password phishing.

In 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States indicted 80 suspects, of which 77 are Nigerians. The case was tagged the “biggest case of online fraud in US history,” according to the FBI.

But the most shocking case was the arrest of Nigeria’s internationally renowned business mogul, Obinwanne Okeke. However, this case does not stop the ambition of youths to become like the internet scammers they have set as role models.

Here are 3 Africans that got their wealth fraudulently.

Isabel dos Santos

africans wealth fraudulently
Source: BBC

Isabel dos Santos was named the richest woman in Africa by Forbes in 2013, with a net worth of $3.5 billion. Jose Eduardo dos Santos, her father, was the former president of Angola, serving from 1979 to 2017. She amassed her fortune through investments in the banking, cement, diamonds, and telecommunications businesses in Angola. She became a billionaire and the most influential entrepreneur in her country as a result of this.

Her fortune, on the other hand, expanded dramatically as a result of plundering the country. This is due to the fact that the majority of her investments were made by purchasing a stake in a company that wanted to conduct business in Angola or through her father’s political clout. This exemplifies the kleptocratic rule that afflicts countries endowed with natural wealth all over the world.

By 2019, allegations of corruption were levelled against her in Angola leading to a significant change in her life. The Angolan court froze Isabel dos Santos’ account, likewise her husband’s assets. In January 2020 she was charged with embezzlement and money laundering by Angola’s attorney general. 

Obinwanne Okeke

africans wealth fraudulently
Source: Premuim Times Nigeria


Obinwanne Okeke is the CEO of Nigeria’s Invictus Group, which includes interests in agriculture, real estate, and other areas. In 2016, Forbes magazine named him one of the top 30 African entrepreneurs under 30.

The Invictus Group of Companies Ltd was named Africa’s Most Innovative Investment Company of the Year by the African Brand Congress in May 2017.

In the category of Young African Business Leader, he was nominated for Africa’s most prestigious award for business people, The AABLA Awards (West Africa).

Okeke contributes to Forbes Africa Magazine on a regular basis, where he discusses entrepreneurship and investing in Africa.

However, in 2019 the prominent Nigerian entrepreneur was arrested in the US on allegations of computer-based fraud totalling $11 million between 2015 and 2019.


Source: BBC

Ramon Abbas, born October 11, 1982, is a Nigerian Instagram celebrity who is facing criminal charges in the United States for conspiring to launder money obtained from business email compromise frauds and other scams, including schemes that defrauded a US law firm of $40 million, illegally transferred $14.7 million from a foreign financial institution, and targeted to steal $124 million from an English football club. 

Abbas lived an extravagant life from posting pictures and videos of himself boarding helicopters, with celebrities, footballers, and Nigerian politicians, or while on charter jets. He usually showed off his lavish spending on exotic cars, watches, designer clothes, and bags from high-end brands like Gucci, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton. 



READ MORE: Isabel dos Santos: The Rise and Fall of the Richest Woman in Africa

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