Bergen County Man Admits Defrauding Foreign Nation of More Than $3.5 Million
TRENTON, NJ—A former international legal adviser and New York-licensed attorney today admitted his orchestration of a scheme to defraud a foreign nation of more than $3.5 million, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Bobby Boye, a/k/a “Bobby Ajiboye,” a/k/a “Bobby Aji-Boye,” 51, of Mahwah, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
As part of his employment as an international legal advisor for the victim nation, which is referred to in the information as “Country A,” Boye served on a committee responsible for reviewing and evaluating bids, solicited in February 2012, for a multimillion-dollar contract to provide legal and tax accounting advice to Country A. In order to secure the lucrative contract for himself, Boye created a sham New York law and accounting firm called Opus & Best Law Services LLC (Opus & Best) that, unbeknownst to Country A, was secretly controlled by Boye.
In March 2012, Boye caused Opus & Best to submit by e-mail a bid for the contract with Country A. The bid documents contained multiple, material misrepresentations and omissions, including: (1) a false claim that Opus & Best was founded in 1985 and was registered as a legal and accounting services provider in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; (2) a fraudulent listing of several purported employees of Opus & Best; and (3) a reference to prior consulting work purportedly performed by Opus & Best for another foreign country. In reality, Boye created Opus & Best for the purpose of submitting the fraudulent bid documents. Opus & Best employed no one other than Boye, let alone the professionals identified in the bid, and had never provided consulting services to the foreign country listed as a reference. The bid documents failed to disclose that Boye’s affiliation with Opus & Best created a conflict of interest and rendered him a third-party beneficiary of the proposed contract.
Unaware that Opus & Best was a sham firm secretly controlled by Boye, 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 a substantial part of 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 count to which Boye pleaded guilty carries 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. Sentencing is scheduled for August 13, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Garret Mountain Resident Office in Woodland Park, New Jersey, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.
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 Barbara Ward of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s 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 nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov
Defense counsel: K. Anthony Thomas, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark