Ms Ebony Mayfield, a co-conspirator in the alleged $20m bank fraud case involving Air Peace boss, Allen Onyema and another employee of the company, has pleaded guilty to one of the eight charges filed against her.
Ms Mayfield settled for the guilty plea in the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta, USA, on Wednesday, June 29.
According to court papers, Ms Mayfield, allegedly aided the Air Peace founder to facilitate the bank fraud between May 2016 and February 2018 while working as the manager for Springfield Aviation Company LLC, owned by Onyema. In particular, prosecutors alleged that Onyema recruited Ms Mayfield to act as a manager of his Springfield Aviation Company LLC, used for perpetrating the alleged fraud designed to obtain credit to buy aircraft for Air Peace.
Though both Onyema and his other Air Peace employee have been absent in the court since their 36-count charge were filed against them about three years ago, they are however, being represented by attorneys.
Initially, Ms Mayfield who was arrested on June 7, 2019, pleaded not guilty to all original eight charges levelled against her, prosecutors insisted however, that she signed and submitted the false documents used by Mr Onyema to perpetrate the $20m bank fraud.
In March, her trial was adjourned till August. However, on June 29, she appeared before trial Judge Eleanor Ross and altered her no-guilty plea to count 5 to ‘guilty as charged’.
“The Defendant (Ebony Mayfield) admits that she is pleading guilty because she is in fact guilty of the crime(s) charged in Count 5,” a copy of the plea agreement obtained by PREMIUM TIMES read in part.Although Ms Mayfield risks a minimum five year jail term as provided for in Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, she may get less at her September 21 scheduled date given the ‘cooperation’ conditions in the plea agreement, which recommends a lesser sentence.
Among others, Ms Mayfield’s plea bargain also recommends a fine of $250,000, immediately payable, or twice the gain or twice the loss whichever is greatest, full restitution due and payable immediately to all victims of the offence(s) and relevant conduct.
It recommended the forfeiture of any and all proceeds from the commission of the offence and any and all property used or intended to be used to facilitate the offence and she will be subjected to a mandatory special assessment of $100, due and payable immediately. She is also to forfeit her right to appeal her conviction.