– These are not the best of times for the CEO, and founder of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema
– Onyema has been mentioned in a high profile alleged fraud case in the United States if America
– Air Peace chief of administration and finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha was also mentioned in what the U.S authorities described as fraud cloaked under the guise of international business
Nigerian businessman, Allen Onyema, has been charged with bank fraud and money laundering for allegedly moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts.
Onyema who is the chairman, CEO, and founder of Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, was indicted in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.
Air Peace chief of administration and finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, has also been charged with bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
The information was posted on the website of the United States department of justice (www.justice.gov).
“Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Byung Pak.
“We will diligently protect the integrity our banking system from being corrupted by criminals, even when they disguise themselves in a cloak of international business,” he added.
“Onyema setup various innocent sounding multi-million dollar asset purchases which were nothing more than alleged fronts for his scam,” said acting special agent in charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in Georgia and Alabama.
The US authorities, however, stated that the indictment only contains charges.
The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
Onyema recently became a hero in Nigeria when he volunteered Air Peace aircraft to evacuate some Nigerians in South Africa during the height of xenophobic attacks in the country.
Nigerians in South Africa had under the auspices of the Nigerian Community Western Cape (NCWC) expressed their gratitude to Onyema for evacuating Nigerians in that country free of charge.
The House of Representatives also hosted Onyema to a special session to honour him during one of its sittings in Abuja.
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