Alleged Fraud: Air Peace boss faces 105 years in jail if found guilty
The Executive Chairman of Air Peace , Allen Onyema, could spend 105 years in prison if convicted of laundry of charges bordering on the alleged fraud.
Onyema was recently accused by the United States of committing more than $21 million fraud.
As part of the investigation, American authorities have already frozen bank accounts allegedly owned by Mr Onyema in the U.S. and Canada, trapping N5 billion ($14.2 million) in the cross-border measure.
The indictment said a final forfeiture of the funds would be pursued as part of potential penalties against Mr Onyema. Since the businessman has not been formally arraigned in court, prosecutors have yet to disclose possible sentences or fines.
But based on the counts already leveled against him, Mr Onyema could be sentenced to 105 years, including sentences that may run concurrently.
The maximum penalty for bank fraud (Title 18 Section 3144) is 30 years.
Mr Onyema was slammed with three counts of this, which means he could face maximum 90 years on bank fraud charges. But since the charges are likely to run concurrently, it means 30 years would be the maximum.
Attempt to commit bank fraud (Title 18 Section 1349) carries the same penalty as bank fraud itself. If Mr Onyema is found guilty of the lone count of attempted bank fraud, he could get the maximum 30 years in prison.
Three counts of credit application fraud (Title 18 Section 1014) also carry maximum 90 years’ imprisonment at 30 years per count. Again, only 30 years would apply here if the three counts run concurrently.
The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit credit application fraud (Title 18 Section 371) is five years.
The 27 money laundering charges (Title 18 Section 3144) carry a maximum 270 years at 10 years per count. Running concurrently, Mr Onyema would get a maximum ten years here also. The 27 charges are for each of the 27 bank transfers that Mr Onyema allegedly initiated between March and November 2017.
Altogether, Mr Onyema faces 105 years from the 35 charges.