The CEO of Air Peace, Allen Ifechukwu Athan Onyema. Air Peace Boss Indicted For Fraud And Money Laundering. The founder of the Air Peace airline has been indicted for bank fraud and money laundering.
According to the United States Department of Justice, has been charged for moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts involving false documents for the purchase of new airplanes.
Ejiroghene Eghagha who is the airline’s International Chief Of Administration and Finance has also been charged for being an accomplice to achieve the alleged bank fraud and identity theft.
The Special Agent who is in charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division said that Allen Onyema’s status as a wealthy businessman is a fraud and that he corrupted the US Banking System. He said,
“DEA would like to thank the many law enforcement partners and and the subsequent prosecution by the US Attorney’s Office who succeeded in making this investigation a success.”
US Attorney Byung J “Bjay” Pak, added that “Onyema allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using false documents to commit fraud. We will diligently protect the interest of our banking system from being corrupted by criminals, even when they disguise themselves in the cloak of international business.”
The IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in charge of Atlanta Field Office, Thomas Holloman also said that the case is an example of why the IRS department work hard to thwart the plans of anyone who plans to destroy the nation’s financial system. He warned those who are planning to corrupt the US economy with false documents that the odds are against them now, as they will be caught.
The Special Agent who is in charge of the HSI operations in Georgia Atlanta, Robert Hammer, said that the Air Peace Boss, Allen Onyema setup muti-million dollar asset purchases that looked innocent, and that they were nothing more than alleged fronts for his fraud.
According to the documents that was presented to the court, Allen Onyema is the founder of several organisations in Nigeria which includes International Centre For Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited and Foundation for Ethnic Harmony.
It was revealed that Alex Onyema started frequenting Atlanta in 2010, where he opened several business accounts and between 2010 to 2018, more than $48.9 million was transferred into his accounts from unknown foreign sources.
It was also reported that the founder of Air Peace Airline, started the airline in 2013 and years after started the airline, he travelled to the United States to buy airplanes for the airline and that the $3 million of the money he used to buy the airplanes came from the accounts of International Centre For Non-Violence and Peace Development, All-Time Peace Media Communications Limited and Foundation for Ethnic Harmony.
In 2016, Allen and Ejiroghene Eghagha allegedly used different export letters of credit to make the transfer of more than $20 million in bank accounts that is owned by Allen in Atlanta. The letters was to support the purchase of five separate airplanes, Boeing 737 passenger planes. The letters contained approvals and agreements from and Atlanta registered business, Springfield Aviation Company LLC.
The supporting documents for the purchase of the planes were fake and it was also revealed that the Springfield Aviation Company LLC is owned by Allen Onyema and is managed by someone who has no connection with aviation business or owned an aircraft.
Ejiroghene took part in the scheme by making the manager of the company to sign and send fake documents to banks and even used the manager’s identity to make the fraud a success, and after the fraud Allen Onyema, laundered more than $16 million by transferring them to other US accounts.
The two men was indicted on the 19th November 2019 on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit credit application fraud, three counts of credit application fraud and three counts of bank fraud. Eghagha was also charged with one count of aggravated identity fraud while Allen was charged with 27 counts of money laundering.
Currently, the Department of Treasury, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, U.S Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Department of Commerce are currently investigating the case.
With the assistance of the Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and International Affairs, the Attorneys prosecuting this case are Assistant U.S Attorneys Garret L.Bradford, Deputy Chief Of The of The Complex Fraud Section, Christopher J Hubber and the Deputy Chief of The Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Section and Lead Strike Force Attorney Irina K. Dutcher
It is good to remember that the defendants remain innocent of the charges until the Government proves them guilty.