On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said that 30-year-old Anyanwu Benjamin Chizitere of Enugu, Nigeria, has been charged for his part in a fraud scheme that targeted an audiobook and podcast service in New Jersey. Chizitere is charged with one count of plotting to commit wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, and three counts of copyright fraud.
Between February 2018 and April 2022, Chizitere and his accomplices scammed the NJ company and others by pretending to own the rights to more than 800 books and signing contracts with more than 600 voice actors to make audiobooks.
Chizitere got more than $250,000 in royalties from people who downloaded these audiobooks that broke the law. Since they were never paid, the voice actors lost a total of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The charges could lead to prison terms of up to 20 years and fines of between $100,000 and $250,000.