MILTON – Federal prosecutors charged a Milton man after they said he helped scammers get their money from US banks to overseas accounts after they stabbed him with a guilty scammer.
Augustine Osemwegie, 53, of Milton, was charged last week on a single charge of conspiracy to commit bank and wire transfer fraud. Federal agents also searched his home on Thacher Street, according to court records.
Osemwegie used its used car dealer in Fall River to Ejad car salesto transfer money from lovesickness, unemployment, and other scams into cash or assets outside of the United States, FBI Agent Michael Livingood wrote on an affidavit.
He bought used cars with money fraudulently obtained by others and then sent the used cars to Nigeria where they were sold. He then paid out most of the proceeds to the original scammers, minus a 10 percent fee, Livingood wrote.
The cash-for-car program enabled Osemwegie’s co-conspirators, all but one unidentified, “to evade the banking system’s detection and regulation of their money transfers,” wrote Livingood.
The FBI began stabbing Osemwegie last summer after an unnamed scammer named “CW-1” pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and agreed to work with prosecutors in the summer of 2020. used the services of Osemwegie to “transfer a portion of the proceeds from the Massachusetts frauds to Nigeria,” wrote Livingood.
“There was a network of co-conspirators in Nigeria to whom CW-1 provided US bank accounts that could be used to raise fraud proceeds,” wrote Livingood. “CW-1 generally charged a fee of 15 percent of the total amount deposited into an account it controlled.”
Fraudsters used Osemwegie’s services because they could quickly convert cash in America into money in Nigerian bank accounts. He sent the used cars to Nigeria, where the dealers paid him in the local currency, and then gave everything but his share to the fraudsters, wrote Livingood.
On Tuesday, Osemwegie was released with a $ 250,000 bond backed by a property in Mattapan he owns. According to court records, he is prohibited from participating in car sales until his trial is complete.
From cash to cars and back again
It is not illegal to buy used cars in America and then export them, nor is it illegal to send goods such as cars to another country for money transfer. It is known as the “informal value transfer system” and is regulated at the state and federal levels, Livingood wrote.
These regulations include registration with the Financial crime enforcement network and reporting suspected money laundering. Neither Osemwegie nor Ejad car sales were federally registered. Massachusetts also regulates overseas transactions and requires practitioners to be “licensed money transmitters,” wrote Livingood. Oswemwegie was not registered in Massachusetts.
Between October 2018 and August 13, 2021, Ejad Auto Sales and Osemwegie exported 218 vehicles valued at $ 1.3 million to Africa, Livingood wrote. No money was ever reported as the proceeds from the sale of these vehicles.
Hyde Park scammers plead guilty
Five months after the stab operation in Augustine Osemwegie, the FBI arrested Macpherson Osemwegie, 32, from Hyde Park and charged him with bank and wire transfer fraud conspiracies run a series of love and unemployment frauds. They found he had two money orders for $ 1,000 in Ejad Auto Sales account, Livingood wrote.
On Wednesday, Macpherson Osemwegie pleaded guilty to single charges of bank and wire transfer fraud conspiracy after signing a plea deal in July. His co-conspirators were Osakpamwan Omoruyi, 36, and Osaretin Omoruyi, 34, both cantons. They were charged in one case of conspiracy with bank and wire transfer fraud, in three cases with wire transfer fraud and in two cases with money laundering. Both men are Nigerian nationals. Your cases continue.
As part of the plea, Macpherson Osemwegie agreed to forfeit $ 690,000.
Check out our previous coverage of federal romance and unemployment and embezzlement cases
July 27, 2021:Two cantons accused, accused of love fraud
Many thanks to our subscribers who make this reporting possible. If you are not a subscriber, please consider supporting quality local journalism with a Patriot Ledger subscription.
Reach reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite at email@example.com.