US charges ex-Tingo Group boss Dozy Mmobuosi with fraud

Dozy Mmobuosi

Prosecutors in Manhattan, New York, United States have unveiled criminal charges against Nigerian fintech businessman Banye Mmobuosi, also known as Dozy Mmobuosi.

In the indictment revealed on Tuesday, the 45-year-old former co-chief executive officer of Tingo Group was charged with securities fraud, making false filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and conspiracy.

Prosecutors said Mmobuosi falsely represented that his Tingo Mobile cellular business and Tingo Foods agriculture business were profitable, generating hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue.

The indictment said Mmobuosi sold both businesses to Tingo Group and Agri-Fintech Holdings, caused them to falsely portray the businesses as “cash-rich, revenue-generating companies,” and looted millions of dollars by misappropriating cash and selling stock at inflated prices.

According to prosecutors, the alleged scheme occurred from 2019 to 2023.

Mmobuosi is at large. A lawyer for him could not immediately be identified.

Daily Mail reports that Tingo Group, based in Montvale, New Jersey, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mmobuosi temporarily stepped down as Tingo Group’s co-CEO on December 20, two days after the SEC filed civil charges accusing him of orchestrating a “staggering” fraud.

The SEC said Mmobuosi siphoned at least $16 million from Tingo Group. It said he used the money to buy luxury cars and travel on private jets, and to try to buy the Sheffield United soccer team when it was in the lower Championship league.

The indictment was made public nearly seven months after the short-seller Hindenburg Research accused Tingo Group of having “fabricated” its financials, and challenged Mmobuosi’s claim to have developed Nigeria’s first mobile payment app.