- Odogwu Banye Mmobuosi, former co-CEO of Tingo Group, faces charges including securities fraud and conspiracy.
- He allegedly misrepresented his Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods businesses as profitable, caused them to be falsely portrayed as profitable conglomerates, and misappropriated vast cash amounts and stock sales.
- The alleged fraud occurred between 2019 and 2023.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) claims Mmobuosi siphoned at least $16 million from Tingo Group.
Details of the Alleged Fraud
Odogwu Banye Mmobuosi, who was previously the joint CEO of the Tingo Group, is facing security fraud charges, as well as accusations of making false SEC filings and conspiracy. These charges were brought to public attention following Tuesday’s indictment.
Prosecutors have claimed that Mmobuosi, sometimes known as Dozy, made false representations about the profitability of his businesses, Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods. These operations were alleged to have generated hundreds of millions in revenue.
Business Sale and Misappropriation of Funds
Mmobuosi is accused of selling these businesses to Tingo Group and Agri-Fintech Holdings while leading them to falsely portray themselves as high cashflow and high revenue generating businesses. The indictment claims that he plundered millions by inappropriately acquiring cash and selling stocks at overinflated prices.
Mmobuosi On the Run
Prosecutors mentioned that this scheme transpired between 2019 and 2023. Mmobuosi is still at large and for now, no spokesperson could be immediately identified. Meanwhile, inquiries to Tingo Group headquarters in Montvale, New Jersey, have not received an immediate response.
Temporary Resignation and Accusations
On December 20, Mmobuosi temporarily resigned as the co-CEO of Tingo Group, shortly after the SEC filed civil charges accusing him of executing an astounding fraud. The SEC maintained that Mmobuosi drained at least $16 million from the Tingo Group, funds which they allege he used for personal luxury expenditures and an attempt to acquire the Sheffield United soccer team.
Lawsuit and Counter-Claims
Tingo Group, which is also facing the SEC lawsuit, has asserted its intention to mount a robust defence. This lawsuit follows earlier accusations by Hindenburg Research, which alleged financial fabrications by Tingo Group and disputed Mmobuosi’s claims of creating Nigeria’s first mobile payment application.
The case is filed as U.S. v. Mmobuosi, in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, under case No. 23-cr-00601.
This case could lead to investor concerns and potential market instability, with possible impacts on trading assets linked to Tingo Group and Agri-Fintech Holdings.