My name is Maryanne Amogechukwu Bibiana Mgbeahuruba, the chief executive officer of Magnificent May-Sam and Babes LTD, a key distributor of Nigeria Breweries PLC.
On Sept 14, 2015, a Nigerian man, Ugochukwu Maranzu, approached me in my office at 10 Unity Street, Ago palace Way, Okota, Lagos, Nigeria.
He claimed to be the African principle representative of an American investment company by the name Nexus Capital Market, LLC, with office address at 733, 3rd avenue, 16th floor, NY 10017.
Maranzu claimed Nexus Capital Market provides business capital to companies sourcing for fund and that they have successfully funded a lot of business outfits in Nigeria, including Oceanic Bank Plc.
I saw this as a golden opportunity to expand my business of over 15 years with a staff capacity of 25.
Consequently, I packaged all the documentations according to his specifications which I handed over to Mr. Ugochukwu Maranzu. I paid for the hard copy courier delivery to Nexus in New York through DHL on the 28th Oct. 2015.
On the 19th November 2015, I received a call from Mr. Dom Rodriguez of Nexus Capital market NY. He acknowledged all documents sent and stated that they have studied them and ready to source investment fund for my company.
He explained that it would take an average of four to six months to execute. He explained that they were excited because my business was in a fast selling consumables and that this would give them the opportunity to do business with Nigeria breweries.
He further claimed that their minimum financing was $25, 000,000.00. But when I expressed that my business didn’t need such money, he said they would be willing to provide a minimum of $10,000,000.00.
I thought I would expand by acquiring a large warehouse, take Guinness distributorship and diversify to haulage with Nigeria breweries. He said it was a great proposal.
On the 24th November 2015, Dom Rodriguez emailed me the proposed statement of work and contract draft and called to discuss their fee which he said was .05% of $10,000,000.00 which is $50,000.00USD. Their work starts once I sign the contract and make an initial payment to which I agreed.
Dom assured me that fund would be injected in my business unfailingly in the maximum time frame of six months from the date I made the first payment to Nexus Capital Market. With this understanding, I signed the contract with them on the 26th November 2015. I provided them with list of USE OF FUND as requested which included purchase of inventory from Nigeria breweries, large warehouse, office equipments, Mistibushi/ Tayota delivery Canter trucks, forklifts and Mercedes trailers for haulage.
HISTORY OF PAYMENTS
Mr Dom Rodrigeuz provided me with their bank account details NEXUS CAPITAL MARKET with JP MORGAN CHASE MANHATTAN BANK. 355 LEXINGTON AVE, NY 10017, ROUTHING NUMBER 021000021 , ACCOUNT NO 108322720 SWIFT : CHASUS33.
- I commenced payment on 11th Dec 2015, through the help of my friend in New Jersey Mrs Ifeoma Chirah +1 (908) 463-8518 who deposited $ 6,000.00 on my behalf while I credited her in Naira.
- On the 29th Dec. 2015 I personally transferred to the same Nexus account, the sum of $25,000.00 from my personal account with Bank of America account name, Maryanne Mgbeahuruba account number 381031028178. This was part of a $27,000.00 loan I sourced from a friend of mine in Pennsylvania due to the fluctuations of Naira at the time. I pledged to return to him within three months thinking it was all a good deal.
- On the 27th Dec. 2015. I transferred $2,000.00 to Nexus from the same account. At this point Dom Rodriguez suggested that my further payments should be through a Nigerian man in NY. I would pay Naira to his local account and he would give Dom USD. He claimed that he had been managing cash transactions from Nigeria for Nexus.
- His name is, Mr Adegboyega Adetunji, email email@example.com mobile +1 (347) 605-0859 . His Nigerian bank account is ADEGBOYEGA ADETUNJI ACCOUNT NUMBER 0036852629 Guaranty Trust Bank ( GTB).
- I transferred a total of $17,000. to this man’s account, totaling N5,012,000.00 in Naira equivalent as indicated below :
- N782, 000. 20th Dec. 2015 & N330,000. ($4,000.00)
- N700, 000. 27TH Jan 2016 & N200,000. ($3,000.00)
- N 800,000. 1ST Feb 2016 &. N700,000. 2ND Feb. ($5,000.00)
- N700, 000. 2ND Feb 2016 &. N800,000. ($ 5,000.00.
After the payment, Mr. Dom Rodrigeuz transferred me to Mr. Paul Dixon whom he introduced as the Managing Director. I was also introduced to Mr. David S. Levin, the Director. Mr. Paul began to demand all kinds of complicating informations one after the other. Their demands for informations became so cumbersome and confusing that their principal agent in Nigeria who later admitted he met this people in LinkedIn, began to hire professionals and I paid heavily for each process.
Months pass by, they made no mentioning of funding my business but kept asking for my life story. I provided them with my story and they came up with a story they titled Spotlight on Rising CEO’s in Africa They started marketing people using my story in this article.
I began to worry Mr. Ugochukwu Maranzu, because there was no sign or discussion of any investor. We both began to demand result from Mr. Dom Rodrigeuz and his partners. They now asked us to source for warehouse. They demanded for introduction letter from Nigeria breweries, pro forma invoices from Mistibushi, Toyota, Mercedes truck, customer letters, copies of company minutes. Etc. The demand was simply endless
Next, Mr. Paul presented me with another article he called “teaser” after I got a very wonderful warehouse and thought they would at least finance that but, he kept taken me through one process to another. All they ever provided me with was “My story in The Spotlight on Rising CEO’s in Africa and the Teaser. With 4 months gone, I began to worry.
In April 2016, I decided to visit them in New York to seek for explanation. On the 20th April, I walked into their office at 733 3rd Avenue, 16th Floor, NY 10017. Mr. Dom Rodrigeuz hosted me to a brief introduction and I met Mr. David S. Levin and Mr. Paul Dixon.
They said they were having difficulty interpreting my business plan to would be financiers. They claimed they have a South African investor ENKO who has interest in my business and that they were working very hard to secure financing for me. At this point They scheduled for conference call with someone they claimed was in South Africa. I requested to take photograph with them, Paul stylishly declined and I got a picture shot with Dom Rodriguez and David S Levin.
When I went back to my hotel, I received all kinds of emails from different Nexus staff asking all kinds of questions. I even requested Dom Rodriguez’s assistance in responding to the questions. My visit was scheduled for just a week because I was very busy at home. I realized from all indications, Nexus was not working on anything. They never knew I could make it to the US.
I went back to NY days later, I met with Dom and cleared my business part which they claimed confused them. They encouraged me to return back to Nigeria and not to worry as they would wrap up the deal soon, I got angry at this point. I told them I would not leave until I see result. I then changed my ticket to 6th May 2016
This was when they arranged a conference call with a so called Enko in South Africa on the 29th April 2016. The Enko representative, indicated interest and asked Nexus to conclude their part while they looked forward to investing in my business. Mr. Paul Dixon, did all the talking, and I believed it was pre arranged.
Nexus became sluggish in relating with me in the progress they were making with ENKO. They knew my time was ticking. I became frustrated and couldn’t change my ticket again. I got Mr. Maranzu informed that these people were not what he told me they were.
I left the US on the 6th May without any result, Immediately they were sure I had left the US, they emailed me saying they had scaled down my loan request to $3,000,000.00 as my last discussion with them proved that I didn’t need the initial $10,000.000.00 requested. I got this while onboard Emirate air back home.
Out of frustration, I agreed to the $3,000,000.00 but requested a refund on the excess on their 0.5% charge based on the earlier loan of $10,000,000.00. At this point Dom told me that they do not even know when they would be able to come up with the loan as they have lost ENKO because ENKO doesn’t fund such low amount of $3,000,000.00. That their only option was to approach GROFIN, an investment company based in Lagos Nigeria.
I then asked Nexus to refund my $50,000.00. I was convinced they scammed me. They laughed and mocked me. Dom said the money cannot be refunded, All of them stopped taking my calls. The financial loss I incurred in this deal began to tell in my business. And my local facility was affected.
I became indebted to my local financier bank in Nigeria as well as the Nigeria Breweries plc. I became a subject of numerous on-going legal litigations (I never been to court in life until this nexus). I lost so much I laboured for, spanning over a period of two decades.
My exposure to Nexus also affected my health badly, I became depressed, lost focus and I developed blood pressure and ever since, my health has not been the same, I have been hospitalized numerous times and during most times, I emailed them, letting them know my condition and asking for my money.
My business performance became very poor. Nigeria breweries withdrew supply to my warehouse and all benefits terminated. I couldn’t pay my workers or renew my warehouse rent and I was evicted from the warehouse.
Mr. Maranzu went into hiding, but later surfaced and with the help of a friend of his in the US who visited Nexus Capital in NY on his behalf, Mr. Bernard Ugorji with contact number +1 (212) 203-3228, Nexus commenced discussion and appointed the man to represent them in Nigeria because the man was visiting Nigeria at the time.
Mr. Bernard visited me, analyzed the impact of my loss in my business and advised Dom Rodrigeuz. For a full refund of the $50,000.00 I paid. He explained to them that my undocumented expenses which was encouraged by their staff Mr. Maranzu was enormous and had caused serious setback to my business.
Mr. David S. Levin, offered to refund $25,000.00 with the instructions that I either accept it or forget it. I declined and they sent a message to Mr. Bernard asking him to quit discussing on their behalf.
In 21st of January 2018. I returned to the US because a friend got me a lawyer who requested for documents and after viewing, said that I have been scammed. I met with Barrister Tod Fishlin. +1 (212) 736-8000 I signed a contract with him to defend me. I Paid $2,000 and further provided him with all evidence. I waited to see if there could be a head way, a friend in Canada invited me over. I stayed in Canada for months waiting.
While in Canada, Mr. Todd emailed and also called, he said he couldn’t trace this people. He claimed they were not taking their calls. I called Dom from Canada and got him I quickly alerted my lawyer.
He didn’t make much progress and for me to avoid breaking immigration law, I left Canada on the 6th of July, I returned to the US because my rebooked ticket was en routed to the States. I departed the US a week later without any concrete process. I spent fortune in this trip.
Months later My lawyer, emailed me that my case was set for hearing in 1st October 2018. That my presence was needed. I set out again to the US on the 26th September. My lawyer emailed that it had been shifted to November. I became very desperate and frustrated. I decided to revisit Canada while waiting for the new date.
The lawyer informed me again in November that the case has been referred to Alternative Dispute Resolution. (ADR) and it could be in March. I was very conscious to avoid over stay. After few days, he emailed me that Nexus approached him for out of court settlement of $27,000 of which he would have his percentage which he decided to cut to $3,000 against 30%. He encouraged me to accept the money and move on, that I may not stand any chance of recovering my money if the case went on.
I accepted amidst tears. He went on to tell me that according to US law, this money would be paid $2,000 monthly over a period of 12 months. I felt I didn’t have a choice but to accept all conditions so I accepted.
I Notarized all settlement agreement documents Barr. Fishlin emailed me At the Notary office of MARY MAINGUY HOPE. No 4850 Younge Street. +1416 922 7325. I sent a soft copy as well couriered hard copy via DHL, to my lawyer.
Due to bad weather, I left Canada on the 28th February 2019. I stopped over in Atlanta to open another account with Bank of America because my first account has been closed due to lack of funds. This was opened in Atlanta branch of Bank of America with $100 with hope that it would be as we had signed. Mary-anne Mgbeahuruba account Number. 3340 5982 4003 I returned to Nigeria 1st March 2019
Months went by and there was no news of payment which was to commence from April. 2019. My Lawyer emailed that they requested to commence payment in June. Yet June passed no payment still. He claimed he sent them a default and notice to Cur.
Finally, on the 19th of February 2020, while on my hospital bed recovering from ankle injury and surgery, I got this email from Barrister Todd Fishlin, my lawyer.
I have some news concerning the Defendant company. Please see the attached letter of explanation and disengagement. As a result of a dissolution, I can no longer pursue collection.
Very truly yours,
Todd A. Fishlin, Esq.
Fishlin & Fishlin, PLLC
118 North Bedford Road
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
60 East 42nd St. 46th Floor
New York, NY 10165
(by appointment only)
Fax (212) 202-4720
I have no further communication concerning this case after I acknowledged the above email on the 18th April. 2020
I hope to have justice severed in this case. This whole action was reoccurring scheme this people have been using to defraud some poor African traders as confirmed by Mr Adegboyega Adetunji, who put a call to me on the 16th of May 2017 asking me to explain what Nexus was into because Nigerians were paying huge to his account for Nexus.
Though I reported this matter to The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Nigeria, they said they had no jurisdiction to recover this debt from The US
I spent $106,000 in Nexus case and incurred a business indebtedness of $78,000.00
Please below are contacts of Nexus Capital market managers as at the time of communication with them:
David S. Levin Director
Nexus Capital Markets, LLC
Nexus Capital Markets, LLC
733 Third Avenue, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (646) 790-5773
Mobile: (203) 424 9666
Skype ID: pdixonny
Dom J. Rodriguez
Nexus Capital Markets, LLC
733 Third Avenue, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (646) 790-5773
Mobile: (917) 592-7343
Skype ID: drodny14