United States prosecutors in Manhattan have unveiled criminal charges against a Nigerian fintech businessman, Odogwu Banye Mmobuosi who recently tried to buy Premier League club, Sheffield United.

They said the 45-year-old lied to investors about his companies’ finances.

Mmobuosi, the former co-chief executive officer of Tingo Group (TIO.O), was charged with securities fraud, making false U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and conspiracy in an indictment made public on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said the defendant, Mmobuosi, falsely represented that his Tingo Mobile cellular business and Tingo Foods agriculture business were profitable, generating hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue.

Mmobuosi sold both businesses to Tingo Group and Agri-Fintech Holdings (TMNA.PK), caused them to falsely portray the businesses as “cash-rich, revenue-generating companies,” and looted millions of dollars by misappropriating cash and selling stock at inflated prices, the indictment said.

The alleged scheme occurred between 2019 to 2023, prosecutors said.

Meanwhile, Mmobuosi temporarily stepped down as Tingo Group’s co-CEO on December 20.

Before he stepped down, the SEC had in December filed civil charges accusing him for orchestrating a “staggering” fraud.

US charges Nigerian, Odogwu Mmobuosi who allegedly tried to buy Sheffield United with fraud

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