Home » Nigerian businessman Dozy Mmobuosi faces 45-year sentence in US

Nigerian businessman Dozy Mmobuosi faces 45-year sentence in US

Mmobuosi's Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods exposed as phantom businesses in U.S. prosecution's revelation

by Omokolade Ajayi
Dozy Mmobuosi

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has unsealed an indictment charging Nigerian businessman Dozy Mmobuosi with securities fraud, making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and conspiracy. If convicted on all charges, Mmobuosi risks serving a maximum sentence of 45 years.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams declared, “Mmobuosi allegedly orchestrated a massive scheme to inflate Tingo Group’s financial statements, presenting his companies as profitable and cash-rich when, in fact, they were not. With this indictment, Mmobuosi’s alleged deceitful scheme comes to an end.”

African agri-fintech tycoon’s legal battle: Tingo Group founder charged with securities fraud and false filing

Mmobuosi, the founder of Tingo Group, an African agri-fintech enterprise and the parent organization of Tingo Mobile Plc, had proposed an IPO and a $500-million capital round in 2022. He is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of securities fraud, and one count of making false filings with the SEC, totaling a maximum sentence of 45 years if found guilty.

The indictment follows legal action by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Mmobuosi and his companies — Tingo Group, Agri-Fintech Holdings, and Tingo International Holdings—for allegedly leading a “massive fraud” scheme.

The SEC’s complaint, filed on Dec. 18, 2023, accused Mmobuosi of inflating financial figures and fabricating statements since 2019, engaging in billions of dollars’ worth of fictitious transactions. It also unveiled a “staggering” scope of fraud, leading to the suspension of trading in Tingo Group and Agri-Fintech Holdings just a month ago. This suspension was prompted by concerns regarding the accuracy and adequacy of publicly available information.

Corporate deception unveiled: Mmobuosi’s Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods exposed as phantom businesses in U.S. prosecution’s revelation

In June 2023, Hindenburg Research declared a short position in Tingo Group, causing shares to plummet by over 60 percent. The short seller accused Tingo of falsifying financials and questioned Mmobuosi’s claims of developing “Nigeria’s first mobile payment app.” Tingo Group, founded nearly two decades ago, came under scrutiny following Hindenburg’s report, labeling it an “exceptionally obvious scam.”

U.S. prosecutors have reviewed Mmobuosi’s business moves from at least 2019 through 2023, revealing a scheme where he falsely represented Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods as operational, profitable businesses generating hundreds of millions in revenue.

Mmobuosi then sold these companies to U.S.-listed entities, including Tingo Group and Agri-Fintech Holdings, causing them to issue false financial statements. He allegedly looted these companies by misappropriating cash and engaged in well-timed sales of their shares, generating millions in profits from his scheme.

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