Osmond Eweka, a so-called Nigerian prince, appeared in Manhattan court on over the weekend. He was accused of scamming New York job seekers out of thousands of dollars by promising to find them work.
The 31-year-old asked the court for permission to travel to Nigeria for the upcoming birth of his son, the Daily Mail reported.
Eweka and his friend, Kamel McKay, were accused of creating bogus employment agency firms and used Indeed.com to find their victims.
They interviewed victims and made them pay a fee, ranging between $300 and $700.
The two men would then send the job seekers to businesses where they were turned away, because the employers were not expecting them.
Eweka pleaded not guilty to charges of larceny and scheme to defraud in July.
Prosecutors said some of the jobs Eweka and McKay promised their victims were for hotel housekeeping and front desk receptionists.
According to court documents, Eweka and McKay used office space in the Empire State Building and another building on Fifth Avenue to run two bogus employment agency firms, Stamford Consulting Firm and Howard Consulting Group.
They also used fake names, according to the New York Post.
Eweka went by the name, Sean Jackson, and McKay reportedly used the name, Tyrone Hayes.
According to authorities, Eweka and McKay duped 250 people and pocketed more than $54,000. Prosecutors said they never provided a single job. They ran the alleged scam from January to June 2018.
Eweka is a prince from the Benin royal family in Nigeria, according to reports, and a United States citizen living in New Jersey. McKay is from the Bronx.
Both men were indicted on charges of larceny and scheme to defraud. McKay was arraigned last week and released on $200,000 bail, the New York Times reported.
Eweka was in court on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was released without bail.
In 2016, Eweka married attorney Imade Igbinedion in an elaborate wedding ceremony in Nigeria.
New York times