WASHINGTON – A former employee of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has been indicted on corruption and tax violations arising from her alleged receipt of a $100,000 bribe while working at the Ex-Im Bank, Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia announced today.
Maureen Njideka Edu, a/k/a Maureen N. Scurry, 42, of Potomac, Md., was indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on Feb. 20, 2009, for conspiring to solicit and accept bribes and to deprive the United States and the Ex-Im Bank of her honest services, as well as substantive counts of bribery, honest services wire fraud and filing a false tax return. The indictment, which was unsealed today following Edu’s arrest, also seeks the forfeiture of $100,000 from Edu.
According to the indictment, Edu worked for the Ex-Im Bank from May 2000 to October 2004 as a business development specialist covering Africa and focused on sub-Saharan Africa, which included the West African nation of Nigeria. During the course of her work, according to the indictment, Edu was introduced to Nigerian businessmen who were seeking to buy certain products and services from a Kentucky-based technology company in a deal worth approximately $44 million. The Nigerian businessmen were seeking financial support from the Ex-Im Bank to support the business deal. The indictment alleges that the Nigerian businessmen agreed to pay Edu a bribe of $173,500, with an initial installment of $100,000, in return for her promise to perform official acts to assist the Nigerian businessmen and their company in obtaining loan guarantees and other financial support from the Ex-Im Bank.
The indictment also alleges that, on Feb. 24, 2004, one of the Nigerian businessmen wrote a letter to a bank in Nigeria captioned "Facilitation Fees to Maureen Scurry," in which the businessman asked that $100,000 be, "transferred to Miss Maureen Scurry of US-EXIM Bank to enable her to facilitate our guarantees with Ex-im [sic] Bank." According to the indictment, the letter also stated that the Board of Directors requested the personal assistance of Scurry to expedite the processes with the Ex-Im Bank and that the, "total amount agreed upon between ourselves was US$173,500" but that, "the balance will be paid once the transaction is over and monies are disbursed." According to the indictment, on Feb. 27, 2004, a wire transfer of $100,000 was sent to the Edu’s personal bank account at a bank in the District of Columbia. Due to disputes between the Nigerian businessmen and the Kentucky-based technology company, according to the indictment, the business deal later ended in mid-2004 before any products or services were provided.
An indictment is merely a charge and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Charles E. Duross of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark D. Lytle and Rebeca H. Bellows of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, who have been specially appointed to prosecute the matter in the District of Columbia. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia’s Fraud and Public Corruption Section also provided considerable support and assistance. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. The Export-Import Bank of the United States assisted and cooperated throughout the investigation of this matter.