A Benin Prince identified as 31-year-old Osmond Eweka, who pretended to run two consulting firms in Manhattan telling clients that if they paid a fee they would be placed at various jobs across New York City, has been arrested for defrauding hundreds of job seekers out of thousands of dollars by promising them high-paying gigs in New York.
The Benin Prince from the Royal Family of Ogiesoba Eweka of the Great Benin Kingdom, was arrested alongside his friend, Kamel McKay, 27, and according to Prosecutors, some of the jobs Eweka and McKay promised their victims were for hotel housekeeping and front desk receptionists.
The men used a popular job-seeking website Indeed.com to find their victims. Eweka who appeared in a Manhattan court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to charges of larceny and scheme to defraud, would invite their victims to their office for an interview and then have them pay a fee, ranging between $300 and $700, the Post reports.
Prosecutor Catherine McCaw said the fee was supposed to cover the cost of uniforms, training and background checks.
“But in reality, there was no such job,” McCaw said at Eweka’s arraignment Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court. McKay, 27, was arrested last May.
After interviewing the victims and collecting their fee, the alleged fraudsters would send them to work sites, where they were turned away by employers who weren’t expecting them. The confused job seekers were then unable to get in touch with Eweka, McKay or their bogus employment agencies.
The duo pocketed at least $54,000 in fees and didn’t provide a single job, according to prosecutors. Eweka, who married an attorney in 2016 in an elaborate wedding ceremony in Nigeria, allegedly operated the scam out of an Empire State Building office under the alias Sean Jackson. McKay, using the name Tyrone Hayes, met his marks at a rented office at 48 Wall Street.