• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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Founder and former CEO of Tingo Companies charged with Securities Fraud

Tingo Group denies fraud allegations, calls Hindenburg’s report “opinion”

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging ODOGWU BANYE MMOBUOSI, a/k/a “Dozy Mmobuosi,” with securities fraud, making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and conspiracy charges. MMOBUOSI is still at large.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Dozy Mmobuosi allegedly orchestrated a massive scheme to inflate Tingo Group’s financial statements and make it appear as though the cellular and agriculture companies he founded were profitable and cash rich companies when, in fact, they were not. With this Indictment, Mmobuosi’s alleged deceitful scheme comes to an end.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: “Mmobuosi’s alleged fraud is an unseemly display of greed and corruption of our financial markets. Securities schemes like this can be devastating for victim investors. That’s why the FBI is committed to bringing financial fraud to light and perpetrators like Mmobuosi to justice.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court and court filings:[1]

From at least in or about 2019 through in or about 2023, ODOGWU BANYE MMOBUOSI orchestrated a scheme to enrich himself by falsely representing that Nigerian companies he founded, Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods, were operational, profitable businesses generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue respectively. MMOBUOSI then sold Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods to companies listed in the United States, including Tingo Group (listed on Nasdaq as “TIO”) and Agri-Fintech Holdings (traded in the Over-the-Counter Markets under symbol “TMNA”). As a result, MMOBUOSI caused Tingo Group and Agri-Fintech to issue financial statements that falsely portrayed Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods to be cash-rich, revenue-generating companies when, in fact, they were not. MMOBUOSI then looted Tingo Group and Agri-Fintech by misappropriating cash from those companies and engaged in well-timed sales of their shares at inflated prices, generating millions of dollars of profits from his scheme.

MMOBUOSI, 45, of Nigeria, has been charged with one count of conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, one count of securities fraud under Title 15, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of making false filings with the SEC, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purpose only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI. He also expressed appreciation for the SEC, which separately initiated civil proceedings against the defendant.

This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Davis and Kiersten A. Fletcher are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.