US Court Jails Nigerian Fintech Executives for $167M Money Laundering

The US court in Texas sentenced two Nigerian founders of a fintech company to 27 months in prison for their role in sending $160 million in fraudulent profits to Nigeria through their company. Ping Express US LLC. according to a statement published by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) on Friday, the company acknowledged that it failed to maintain an effective anti-money laundering and unlicensed money transmission program for the past three years. The firm also admitted that it did not seek sufficient information about the sources or purposes of the funds involved in the transactions. The CEO of the Texas-based company, Anslem Oshionebo, 45, and its co-founder and COO, Opeyemi Odeyale, 43, were sentenced to 27 months in prison for their involvement in the alleged crimes, according to US legal documents. The firm’s IT/Business Development Manager also received a 42-month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to knowingly transmitting illegally obtained funds. U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Chad Meacham, said the Texas-based company, which was licensed to transmit money but not to exchange currency, charged U.S. customers a fee to send money to recipients in Nigeria and other African nations. . Citing part of the company’s plea documents, the US government said the company also admitted that it allowed more than “1,500 customers” to violate its anti-money laundering policy. “The company outlined its anti-money laundering policy in a memo to state regulators, stating that it would limit first-time customer transactions to $499, daily transactions to $3,000, and monthly transactions to $4,500. “However, in the plea documents, the company admitted that it allowed more than 1,500 customers to violate these rules. In one case, Ping allowed a client to remit more than $80,000 in a single month, more than 17 times the purported limit,” the Justice Department statement read in part. “In a 3-year period, Ping Express US LLC helped clients send a total of $167 million to Africa. Of this sum, $160 million was remitted to Nigeria. And it was said that the company was unable to verify the sources of the funds or what they were intended for,” Mecham said. Dallas Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations Christopher Miller said the investigation gives the agency access to a variety of financial networks, allowing HSI to dismantle any criminal organization trying to take advantage of the trade. international. “Through our special agents and forensic accountants, we work tirelessly to eradicate crimes related to money laundering and cash smuggling,” said Mr. Miller. “Our investigative reach provides access to a wide range of financial networks that allow HSI to disrupt any criminal organization trying to exploit global commerce.” Three people, including two of Ping Express’s largest customers, previously pleaded guilty to using the company to transfer money that was obtained illegally, according to the Justice Department statement. other culprits According to the Justice Department statement, three people, including two of Ping Express’s largest customers, previously pleaded guilty to using the company to transfer money that was obtained illegally. “Collins Orogun admitted last week that it accepted a fee in exchange for transferring money for ‘romance scams’ and other criminals. “In one case, an Indiana woman sent $15,000 to ‘Carson Jacks,’ an alleged oil thug in the Gulf of Mexico she fell in love with online, after he told her he had contracted malaria. In another, a second Indiana woman sent $6,300 to ‘Thomas Ken’, an alleged Irish sea captain she fell in love with online, to fix her boat. “In two years, Orogun received more than $1.3 million in cash, cashier’s checks and transfers to various US bank accounts he controlled and then quickly moved more than $1 million of the funds to Africa via Ping Express. . “He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and will be sentenced on January 23, 2023,” the statement said. Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; US Court Jails Nigerian Fintech Executives for $167M Money Laundering