Allen Onyema, the Nigerian aviation executive who was recently accused by the United States of committing more than $21 million fraud, could spend up to 105 years in prison if convicted of a laundry of charges bordering on the alleged fraud.
Mr Onyema was indicted by a federal grand jury in the United States on November 19 on multiple charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering.
According to the initial announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice and the full indictment (PDF) first obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Onyema was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, three counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit credit application fraud.
The Air Peace chairman was also charged with three counts of credit application fraud and 27 counts of money laundering. Mr Onyema faces a total of 35 counts — each criminal in nature and carries specific penalties that involve either a hefty fine or jail sentence or both.
The charges were far greater than those leveled against Mr Onyema’s alleged accomplice, Ejiroghene Eghagha, Air Peace’s head of finance and administration.
Mr Eghagha was slammed with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, three counts of bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit credit application fraud, three counts of credit application fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Both suspects denied the allegations in a November 23 statement and indicated their readiness to fight the charges in court.