October 29, (THEWILL) – Counsel to Air Peace Limited, its Chairman, Allen Onyema and Head of Administration and Finance, Ejiro Eghagha, A.O. Alegeh & Co Legal Practitioners & Notaries Public, has stated that their clients remain resolute in the assertion of innocence over the US indictment of alleged $20,000.00 fraud.
In an official statement dated 28th October, 2022, issued on Friday, the counsel said the indictment filed against Ebony Mayfield by the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, was concluded at the District Court in Atlanta, Georgia, on Friday.
Ebony Mayfield had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, in Atlanta, on 29 June.
Following her guilty plea, the trial judge, Eleanor Ross, had fixed 28 October for the matter, which is now concluded.
According to the counsel, Ebony Mayfield, a former staff of Springfield Aviation Company Inc., was given probation and a $4,000 fine in respect of the Criminal Indictment filed against her by the United States Attorney for Northern District of Georgia, after an investigation spanning over three years and involving about five Agencies of the US Government.
Ebony, the counsel noted, was an administrative staff with limited knowledge of Letter of Credit Transactions and pleaded guilty to one count in the indictment, presumably as she realised the futility of attempting to explain several Letters of Credit utilised for the purchase of Aircraft for Air Peace Limited in a Jury trial.
“Probation is the lowest possible sentence available under US Federal Law. Ebony was not given any prison sentence, confinement or home detention by the Court. This confirms the position of our Clients that there was no fraudulent intent in all the Letters of Credit, and there was no victim in any way, manner or form.”
The counsel also emphasised that all the funds involved were legitimate funds belonging to their clients, adding, “There was no loss of money or any damage whatsoever to any third Party.”
“The US Government admitted in Court today that no Bank suffered any financial loss in this matter. There have been false and unsubstantiated Press stories in Nigeria, about the Indictment and Ebony Mayfield.
“Our clients never took loans or credit from any US Bank and Ebony was never paid the sum of $20,000.00 at any time to commit any fraud, as is being peddled by a section of the Nigerian Press.
“Ebony, like other Springfield Aviation Company Inc. staff, was only paid her bi-weekly salary and/or allowances. These stories are far from the truth and are deliberately being peddled by a section of the Nigerian Press for ulterior motives.
“Our Clients maintain their innocence in the matter and state that all steps taken in respect of the Letters of Credit were taken in good faith and with legitimate funds.
“All the aircraft involved were brought into Nigeria and utilised in the operations of Air Peace Limited. There was no victim. There was no loss of funds to any person and there was no criminal intent whatsoever.
“Our clients’ position has been reviewed by various Law Enforcement Agencies in Nigeria and no evidence of criminality has been established against our Clients”, the counsel stated.