Allen Onyema

The CEO and founder of the Nigerian airline, Air Peace, Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema was charged by the United States Attorney’s Office, with bank fraud and money laundering.

The US Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia reported that the Air Peace chairman laundered more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.

The warrant was signed by Justin Anand, an American magistrate of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Georgia, on November 19. The warrant authorised U.S. Marshals Service to take Mr Onyema into custody.

Air Peace’s head of finance and administration, Ejiroghene Eghagha was also indicted and an arrest warrant issued equally against him.

The two Nigerian business executives were accused of conniving to commit money laundering and bank fraud for several years. The U.S. Department of Justice made the allegations public on Friday, but did not mention that an arrest warrant had been issued for Messrs Onyema and Eghagha.

The allegations also included how Mr Allen Onyema facilitated fraudulent letters of credit to American banks to procure aircraft, equipment and luxury goods.

About $14 million traced to his bank accounts in the U.S. and Canada have been frozen as federal authorities pursue a final forfeiture order.

The seizure came after extensive investigation of how Mr Allen Onyema allegedly conducted the fraud between 2010 and 2018.

Read the full court document below.

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