ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has initiated civil fraud charges against Dozy Mmobuosi, the CEO of Tingo Group, accusing him of fabricating financial statements and engaging in fraudulent activities related to three Tingo Group subsidiaries, including Tingo Mobile and Tingo Foods Plc.
According to court documents obtained by Peoples Gazette, SEC prosecutors have leveled a series of corruption allegations against Mr. Mmobuosi and the associated firms, including TIH, Agri-Fintech, and Tingo Group.
The civil complaint, filed on Monday before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, stated, “For years, Mmobuosi and the companies he controlled have intentionally and materially overstated their reported revenues, expenses, profits, and assets in their SEC filings, public statements, and the books and records provided to their auditors. The scope of the fraud is staggering.”
Authorities allege that Mr. Mmobuosi utilized affiliated firms to submit falsified financial transactions and manipulated bank records, presenting inflated balance statements from Nigerian banks. Specific instances, such as submitting a falsified GTBank statement in 2020 indicating a balance of N5.7 billion (actual balance N5,544), and a UBA balance sheet in 2022 showing over N53 billion (verified balance N1.6 million), are detailed in the complaint.
The SEC asserted that Mr. Mmobuosi and the entities he controls fraudulently obtained hundreds of millions through these schemes, diverting funds for personal benefit, including luxury purchases, private jet travel, and an unsuccessful attempt to acquire an English Football Club Premier League team.
In June, The Gazette had reported on Mr. Mmobuosi’s indictment by the Malawian government over allegations of passport racketeering.
Following the SEC charges, NASDAQ has suspended trading for Tingo Group, awaiting resolution. Mr. Mmobuosi’s current whereabouts, previously believed to be in London, are uncertain, and attempts to reach him for comments have been unsuccessful.
The government said he “fraudulently obtained hundreds of millions in money or property through these schemes, and that Mmobuosi has siphoned off funds for his personal benefit, including purchases of luxury cars and travel on private jets, as well as an unsuccessful attempt to acquire an English Football Club Premier League team, among other things.”
The SEC also revealed discrepancies in Tingo Group’s reported cash and cash equivalents, stating $461.7 million for fiscal year 2022, while its bank accounts purportedly held less than $50 in total.