Two Individuals Charged with Advance Fee Scheme that Defrauded over $2 Million from Nigerian Company
Two individuals have been charged in connection with a scheme to defraud a Nigerian company of over $2 million.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Drew J. Breakspear, Commissioner, Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR), made the announcement.
Vicente Jesus Zubero, 40, of Miami, Florida, and Oyeyemi Olatunji Owagboriaye, 62, of Skokie, Illinois, were charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343 and 1349.
As alleged in the unsealed indictment, Zubero, through his corporation, the Consortium for International Development (CID), purported to broker loans for clients. In August 2014, Zubero and Owagboriaye induced a company headquartered in Nigeria to provide approximately $2.1 million upfront in order to obtain a loan from CID. The $2.1 million was then used for Zubero and Owagboriaye’s personal use and benefit, in violation of the company’s agreement with CID.
The indictment further alleges that in order to facilitate the scheme, Zubero made it appear as if his girlfriend and others worked for CID as executives, when, in fact they did not. Zubero also made materially false statements to the company, including that the money would be placed into a secure escrow account, and that the money would be used to generate the company’s loan.
Each count of conspiracy and wire fraud carries a maximum term of twenty years in prison.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and OFR. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Cruz.