Former Sheffield Utd wannabe Dozy Mmobuosi wakes up to billion dollar SEC fraud complaint

By Paul Nicholson

December 21 – The Nigerian businessman who was the preferred bidder for Sheffield United as they journeyed to England’s Premier League is facing multiple fraud charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for billions of dollars of fictitious transactions.

Dozy Mmobuosi, who had tabled a bid for the club in the region of £90 million, has come under scrutiny from the SEC for falsely inflating the finances of his three companies – Tingo Group, Agri-Fintech Holdings and Tingo International Holdings – fabricating documents to deliberately defraud investors.

Insideworldfootball broke news of multiple discrepancies over Mmobuosi’s claims to be a billionaire businessman in February when he started to make headlines as the potential new owner of Sheffield United.

A private investigative report into the valuations of his company subsiduaries that Insideworldfootball had sight of, showed they were massively over-inflated, often non-existent.

The report detailed his history showing a mobile telecoms licences unused, no reliable user figures around his supposedly market leading African financial app for farmers, unpaid staff in operating companies, premises of a supposed food processing businesses unused, an airline without a license, criminal cases brought against him in Nigeria, the issuing of dud cheques, and a host of major companies across Africa refusing to do business with him.

As the story grew, so further information on Mmobuosi came to light. Even in his private life Mmobuosi showed a similar lack of integrity having been taken to court for failing to pay rent to a landlord for a property in England for more than a year.

In the meantime he travelled the world projecting an image of great wealth, highest level government connections, and personal philanthropy and good intentions. All backed up with a briefcase full of falsified documents.

Mmobuosi’s carefully polished image and barrage of legal advisors and PR executives however, ensured the fabricated veneer of respectability went almost unchallenged.

Insideworldfootball’s stories questioning Mmobuosi were met with email warriors defending his reputation and businesses. And always the underlying threat of legal action.

The SEC investigation into Mmobuosi and the filed complaint paints a catastrophic financial picture of his companies and corporate fraud on the kind of industrial scale his corporations never achieved.

“The scope of the fraud is staggering,” the SEC said in its complaint that was made public on Monday.

“Since 2019, defendants have booked billions of dollars’ worth of fictitious transactions through two Nigerian subsidiary companies Mmobuosi founded and controls, reporting hundreds of millions of dollars of non-existent revenues and assets.”

The SEC had already suspended trading in the securities of Tingo Group and Agri-Fintech Holdings because of “questions and concerns regarding the adequacy and accuracy of publicly available information”.

Of concern for the SEC and investors is that leading accountancy firm Deloitte gave the Tingo businesses a clean bill of health in its audit of 2022 accounts.

One example of the scale of the fraud outlined in the SEC complaint shows Tingo reported cash and cash equivalents of $461.7 million for 2022 in its Nigerian subsidiary, Tingo Mobile. The SEC said the actual balance was less than $50 for that financial year.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1713607750labto1713607750ofdlr1713607750owedi1713607750sni@n1713607750osloh1713607750cin.l1713607750uap1713607750