WASHINGTON – Paul Maucha, 58, a Kenyan national, was found guilty today of perpetrating an advance fee and investment scheme that defrauded numerous victims.
The jury verdict, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley of the FBI Atlanta Field Office.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Maucha, 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, so long as victims first provided AESG with an advanced fee while misrepresenting the purpose of that fee. AESG also told victims falsely that these 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.
The jury convicted Maucha 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. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 16, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each of the conspiracy and wire fraud counts and 10 years in prison for each count of engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri 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 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 are prosecuting the case. 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 previously provided valuable assistance in the investigation.