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Fall River used car dealer sentenced to no prison time in money laundering scheme



BOSTON – The owner of a used car dealership in Fall River has been sentenced for money laundering.

53-year-old Augustine Osemwegie was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel to six months of home confinement and two years of supervised release. Osemwegie was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,500 and forfeiture. On April 21, 2022, Osemwegie pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering.

Osemwegie used his car dealership, EJAD Auto Sales at 200 Brightman Street, vehicle auctions and international car shipping to launder and transmit the proceeds of romance scams, pandemic unemployment fraud and other fraudulent schemes. Specifically, Osemwegie accepted fraud proceeds in cash from “customers,” took a percentage fee for laundering the funds and then used the remaining funds to purchase used vehicles at auto auctions, purportedly for the use of his customers. Osemwegie then shipped those vehicles abroad, principally to Nigeria, where they were sold for the benefit of Osemwegie’s customers.

In September 2020, during recorded calls and meetings with an undercover agent, Osemwegie agreed to accept fraud proceeds from the undercover agent and transfer them abroad, under the guise of purchasing a used luxury sedan.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian Stearns of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

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