A Nigerian fugitive has been extradited from Hungary to the United States to face charges of fraud.


Uchenna Christian Nlemchi, a 31-year-old Nigerian national, has been extradited from Hungary to the United States to face charges of fraud. The extradition was announced by Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office.

Nlemchi made his initial appearance in federal court in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 7 after being extradited from Hungary. He is facing multiple charges, including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment against him was issued by a federal grand jury on May 24, 2017.

According to the indictment, Nlemchi and his co-conspirators engaged in fraudulent activities by registering on online dating websites and establishing romantic relationships with victims. Through false pretenses, misrepresentations, and deceptive promises, they convinced individuals to transfer money to them. Additionally, the co-conspirators utilized phishing emails and malware to gather email account details of other victims. By spying on email correspondence, they identified financial transactions and diverted funds to bank accounts controlled by Nlemchi.

Nlemchi had previously been arrested on these charges in June 2017 but was released on conditions pending trial. However, he violated the conditions of his release in October 2017, leading to an arrest warrant. He then fled the country and was believed to have returned to Nigeria. The FBI diligently pursued Nlemchi for five years until he was eventually located in Hungary. On June 6, 2023, he was extradited to the United States and subsequently arrested.

Nlemchi will remain in custody until his trial, which has yet to be scheduled. The Albuquerque Division of the FBI conducted the investigation with assistance from the Albuquerque Police Department during the extradition process. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Peña is prosecuting the case.

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