Founder, Air Peace, Allen Onyema has denied the allegation of $20 million bank fraud and money laundering levied against him by the United States Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia.
Onyema, who spoke through Alegeh & Co, his counsel, insisted that the allegations are unfounded and strange to him as he has maintained a track record built on honesty and integrity and will take all necessary steps to clear his good name and hard-earned reputation.
In a statement issued by the council and obtained by Nairametrics, Onyema and his Chief of Administration and Finance, Ejiroghene Eghagha, who was also charged with bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme, were cleared that they never engaged in such activities.
The truth according to Onyema: “None of the allegations involves any third party funds but relates to his funds utilized in the Airline business. There is no allegation that any Bank [in the United States, Nigeria or elsewhere], Company or individual suffered any financial or any loss whatsoever. He looks forward to an opportunity to rebut these allegations in Court.
“All the money transfer for the purchase of aircraft passed through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). I can confirm to you that all allegations are false and are in no way in line with my character as a person and as a businessman whose only aim has been to build Nigeria and improve well-being.
“These are indictments that only contain charges. Our client is innocent of all charges and the US government will find NO dirt on him because he has never conducted business with any illegalities. Every Kobo transferred to the US for aircraft purchase went through the Central Bank of Nigeria LC regime and all were used for the same purpose. The American companies that received the funds are still in business. He never took a penny from any US bank or Nigerian bank. He is willing to defend his innocence in the US courts.”
Backstory: Nairametrics had reported that the United States’ Attorney’s Office, Georgia, Atlanta charged the Founder and Chairman, Air Peace Nigeria, Allen Onyema, with bank fraud and money laundering for moving more than $20 million from Nigeria through United States bank accounts in a scheme involving false documents based on the purchase of airplanes.
Chief of Administration and Finance of the airline, Ejiroghene Eghagha, was also charged with bank fraud and committing aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
Details: The Air Peace boss allegedly leveraged his status as a prominent business leader and airline executive while using falsified documents to commit fraud.
U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, said, “We will diligently protect the integrity our banking system from being corrupted by criminals, even when they disguise themselves in a cloak of international business.”
Commenting on the development, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division, Robert J. Murphy, said, “Allen Onyema’s status as a wealthy businessman turned out to be a fraud. He corrupted the U.S. banking system, but his trail of deceit and trickery came to a skidding halt. DEA would like to thank the many law enforcement partners and the subsequent prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office who aided in making this investigation a success.”