Bergen County Man Arrested for Defrauding Foreign Nation of More Than $3.5 Million
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 19, 2014|
NEWARK, NJ—A Bergen County, New Jersey man who was re-entering the United States from a trip abroad was arrested today at Newark International Airport on charges that he allegedly orchestrated a scheme to defraud a foreign nation of more than $3.5 million, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today.
Bobby Boye, a/k/a “Bobby Ajiboye,” a/k/a “Bobby Aji-Boye,” 50, of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of wire fraud conspiracy and six counts of wire fraud. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance tomorrow before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk in Newark federal court.
According to the complaint:
Beginning in July 2010, Boye worked as an international legal adviser for the victim nation, which is referred to in the complaint as “Country A.” Boye served on a three-member committee responsible for reviewing and evaluating bids, solicited in February 2012, for a multi-million-dollar contract to provide legal and tax accounting advice to Country A. Boye allegedly deceived Country A representatives into awarding the lucrative contract to Opus & Best Services LLC (Opus & Best), a sham New York law and accounting firm that, unbeknownst to Country A, was secretly controlled by Boye. On March 17, 2012, Boye allegedly caused Opus & Best to submit by e-mail a bid for the contract with Country A. The bid documents, which allegedly were authored by Boye and a conspirator (CC-1), contained multiple, material misrepresentations and omissions, including: (1) a false claim that Opus & Best was founded in 1985, when in fact it was not founded until late March 2012; (2) a fraudulent listing of several purported employees of Opus & Best, who were described in the bid as a “first class talent of attorneys, accountants and economists.” There was no record of individuals of those same names as being admitted to practice law in New York or New Jersey or as being New York-licensed certified public accountants; (3) a false representation that Opus & Best had no conflicts of interest; Boye was both the sole member of Opus & Best and a member of the committee reviewing the bids; (4) a reference to prior consulting work purportedly performed by Opus & Best for another foreign country when that country had never awarded any type of consulting services contract to Opus & Best; and (5) a false representation that there were no third-party beneficiaries to the proposed contract between Opus & Best and Country A, when Boye himself was an undisclosed third-party beneficiary, given his alleged concealed intent to misappropriate the contract for his own benefit.
Unaware that Opus & Best allegedly was a sham firm, and relying on the recommendation of Boye, Country A awarded the contract to Opus & Best in June 2012. Under the terms of the consulting contract, Boye was one of the two project coordinators acting on behalf of Country A and had authority to receive and approve invoices for payment.
Between June 2012 and December 2012, Country A wired more than $3.5 million to Opus & Best’s New York business checking account, which was controlled by Boye. He used the money to purchase four properties in New Jersey for more than $1.5 million in cash, three luxury vehicles (a 2012 Bentley for $172,000, a 2012 Range Rover for $100,983, and a 2011 Rolls Royce for $215,000, and two designer watches for almost $20,000.
The conspiracy and wire fraud counts with which Boye is charged each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gain or loss from the offense.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark with the investigation leading to the arrest.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shirley U. Emehelu of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Economic Crimes Unit in Newark and Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan S. Weitz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This arrest is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorney’s offices and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit stopfraud.gov.