Feds say Milton man exported used automobiles to maneuver soiled cash out of US

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.

More:Read FBI Agent Michael Livingood’s investigation

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.”

March 28, 2021:Four residents of the canton have taken on roles in romances, with unemployment fraud grossing $ 4 million

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.

According to the Small Business Administration, Osemwegie also received two paycheck protection program grants during the pandemic. one in May 2020 for $ 7,302 and an in March 2021 for $ 4,273.

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.

June 22, 2021:Canton woman advocates participating in romance scams that brought in $ 1.3 million

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.

July 27, 2021:Macpherson Osemwegie signs plea for bank and wire transfer fraud conspiracy

Macpherson Osemwegie

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.

02/28/2021:Romance Scam: Former Randolph man arrested for $ 1.7 million fraud

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

June 28, 2021:Canton woman sentenced to six years in prison after stealing $ 1.4 million from nonprofits

June 22, 2021:Canton woman advocates participating in romance scams that brought in $ 1.3 million

March 28, 2021:Four residents of the canton have taken on roles in romances, with unemployment fraud grossing $ 4 million

02/28/2021:Romance Scam: Former Randolph man arrested for $ 1.7 million fraud

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Reach reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite at wcowperthwaite@patriotledger.com.

Nikola is paying $8.1 million in authorized charges for ousted chairman Milton

Trevor Milton, CEO and Founder of US Nikola, speaks during a presentation of his new all-electric and hydrogen fuel cell battery truck in collaboration with CNH Industrial at an event on December 2, 2019 in Turin, Italy.

Massimo Pinca | Reuters

Start of the competitive electric vehicle Nikola pays $ 8.1 million in legal fees for ousted founder and chairman Trevor Milton, who left the company in September over a short seller fraud case that led to federal investigations.

This helped increase the company’s legal expenses to $ 27.5 million last year. The majority of that, $ 24.7 million, was spent answering regulatory investigations and other legal disputes related to the US state Claims by Hindenburg ResearchNikola said in his annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

According to the company, around $ 1.5 million in Milton’s legal fees were paid in 2020. The start-up lost $ 384.3 million last year, including $ 147.1 million in the fourth quarter, it said on Thursday. Adjusted pre-tax loss for 2020 was $ 200.5 million.

As part of the result, Nikola also lowered delivery expectations for its first product, called Tre Semitruck, from 600 this year to 50-100 due to supplier issues. The company’s shares fell at $ 19.72 each during after-hours trading after Thursday’s close Share, down 6.8% for the day.

“The pandemic has caused significant supply chain disruption,” Nikola CEO Mark Russell said during a call for earnings, specifically referring to a shortage of battery cells to power his vehicles.

A Nikola spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the company will attempt to recoup Milton’s legal fees. In his filing, Nikola said the fees were part of his compensation agreement with the company. Additional legal costs are expected this year related to the Hindenburg report, which led to investigations by the SEC and the Justice Department.

“We incurred significant costs due to the regulatory and legal issues surrounding the Hindenburg article,” Nikola said in the filing. “The total cost of these matters will depend on many factors, including the duration of these matters and the determination made.”

Hindenburg accused Milton from make false statements about Nikolas technology to grow the company and cooperate with auto companies. The report, entitled “Nikola: How to Partner an Ocean of Lies with America’s Largest Automaker,” was released two days later The company announced a contract with General Motors that made both companies’ stocks soar in September. It characterized Nikola as “an intricate fraud based on dozens of lies” by Milton.

Nikola has denied and denied many of the allegations, but the company confirmed one of Hindenburg’s biggest claims – that it staged a video showing a truck that appeared to be functional but not working.

An internal investigation by Kirkland & Ellis LLP into statements made by Milton and the Company during this period has “substantially been completed”. The Chicago-based law firm has not reached a conclusion whether statements that may have been inaccurate when filed are against any law, the company said.