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The US Court jails the Fintech Executives of Nigeria over a Money Laundering Case comprising $167 Million
The Nigerian-owned fintech company admitted that during the past three years, it has not successfully maintained Anti-Money Laundering (AML) programme to combat money laundering activities across the country.
Two Nigerian founders of a fintech company were sentenced to 27 months in jail by a U.S. court in Texas for their part in transporting $160 million in fraud proceeds to Nigeria through their business, Ping Express U.S. LLC.
In a statement released on Friday by the US Department of Justice (DoJ), the company admitted that for the previous three years, it had not successfully maintained an anti-money laundering and illegal money transmission programme. The company acknowledged that it did not sufficiently inquire into the origins or uses of the finances utilized in the transactions.
Anslem Oshionebo, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Texas-based company, and Opeyemi Odeyale, its co-founder and COO, both received sentences of 27 months in prison for their claimed roles in the crimes, according to US legal records.
The company’s IT/Business Development Manager was also given a 42-month prison term after entering a guilty plea to intentionally convey cash that was obtained unlawfully.
According to Chad Meacham, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, the Texas-based company charged U.S. clients a fee to send money to recipients in Nigeria and other African countries, which were permitted to transmit money but not licensed to run currency exchange.
“The company outlined its anti-money laundering policy in a memo to state regulators, claiming it would cap first-time customer transactions at $499, cap daily transactions at $3,000, and cap monthly transactions at $4,500.”
According to the DOJ statement, “However, in plea papers, the company admitted it allowed more than 1,500 customers to violate these rules. In one instance, Ping allowed a customer to remit more than $80,000 in a single month – more than 17 times the purported limit”
As per the statement, there are three individuals including two of Ping Express’s most important clients, that previously entered guilty pleas for utilizing the organization to transfer funds acquired illegally.
Suggested Read: Nigeria’s Senate Passes Bill to Tighten Money Laundering Rules