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Press Release

Foreign National Sentenced for Advance Fee and Investment Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Kenyan national was sentenced today to 11 years and three months in prison for perpetrating an advance fee and investment scheme that defrauded numerous victims.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Paul Maucha, 59, along with a co-conspirator, engaged in a scheme through a shell company Maucha controlled, American Eagle Services Group Inc. (AESG), to make numerous misrepresentations to victims about AESG, its assets, and its access to money and capital. In particular, Maucha—through AESG—promised victims who were seeking loans that AESG would provide them with these loans. The victims were required to first provide AESG with an advanced fee, but the company misrepresented the purpose of that fee. AESG told victims falsely that the advance fees could be refunded if AESG did not fund the loan. As proven at trial, however, Maucha and his co-conspirator knew that AESG did not have the capital to make these loans at the time the lending agreements were executed, and refunds to victims could not be assured because Maucha and his co-conspirator were splitting the fees between themselves and spending them, such that there was no money left to be refunded.

A federal jury convicted Maucha on Feb. 1 of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia; and Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley of the FBI Atlanta Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI Atlanta Field Office investigated the case, with substantial assistance from Homeland Security Investigations.

Trial Attorneys Tian Huang and Tamara Livshiz of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine M. Macey for the District of Columbia prosecuted the case. Former Assistant Chief William E. Johnston of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Rothstein for the District of Columbia provided valuable assistance in the investigation.

Updated June 11, 2024

Topics
Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-740