The owner of a Wisconsin fuel company has pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud in federal court, admitting he defrauded investors out of nearly $6.3 million and used the funds to charter private jets, visit nightclubs and rent villas.
Blessing K. Egbon, 35, of Milwaukee, CEO of Exit 7c, admitted to devising a scheme to provide current and potential investors with fake revenue and profit figures and forged bank statements for his fuel services business, according to his plea agreement filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Exit 7c, which formerly operated as CoOp Fuel, sold bulk fuel and provided onsite fuel and maintenance services to trucking companies, rental car agencies and other commercial fleet businesses. Exit 7c and CoOp Fuel are not connected in any way to Fuel Transport, a freight and logistics company, which operates in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.
According to court documents, Egbon told investors that his company’s total sales revenue was more than $91 million from September 2018 through December 2019, when in fact, Exit 7c’s total sales revenue averaged around $348,000 for the 16-month time period.
Over a two-year period, from August 2018 to July 2020, Egbon used inflated financial statements to convince venture capital firms to invest millions of dollars in his company, which federal prosecutors allege he used to “subsidize his own lifestyle and personal expenses.”
In August 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Egbon. A jury trial is scheduled to start Aug. 1.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Egbon faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each charge, a $250,000 fine and has agreed to pay restitution to at least 11 investors.
Egbon’s attorney, Michelle Jacobs, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request seeking comment.
Do you have a story to share? Send an email to [email protected].
Read related articles:
Former Roadrunner CFO sentenced to 2 years for accounting, securities fraud
Iowa trucking owner sentenced in $1.4M payroll tax scheme
Central Freight aftermath: Paycheck concerns, benefit worries, unsafe work conditions
Former trucking employee pleads guilty in elaborate wire fraud scheme