Osmond Eweka, 31, a member of a royal family in West Africa, and a resident of Montclair, has been indicted for stealing more than $54,000 from at least 250 victims in three employment fraud schemes. Eweka, along with co-defendant Kamel McKay, 27, of the Bronx, were charged with multiple counts of Scheme to Defraud and Petit Larceny in two separate indictments filed in New York State Supreme Court. Eweka allegedly used the alias “Sean Johnson.”
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., is urging any additional victims to come forward.
“As alleged in the indictment, these defendants raked in a princely sum by exploiting hundreds of job seekers who paid for services that they did not need and that were not ultimately provided,” said District Attorney Vance. “In New York’s highly competitive job market, applicants and job seekers are particularly susceptible to these types of fake employment scams. If you or a loved one have been a victim of this scheme, I urge you to report the incident to my office’s Financial Frauds Bureau by calling (212) 335-8900.”
According to the indictments and documents filed in court, Eweka and Mckay allegedly met with victims – all of whom were seeking employment on Indeed.com, a job search website – and falsely claimed to provide job placement services on behalf of fake staffing agencies created by the defendants. Eweka and McKay interviewed victims, offered them employment, and then told them that they must pay a fee for job-related expenses such as uniforms, training, licensing, and background checks before starting. Victims paid fees ranging from approximately $279 to $700 to the defendants, but never received uniforms, training, licenses, or employment. Overall, the defendants collected more than $54,000 from at least 250 victims as a result of the three schemes.
On April 25, 2018, McKay was arrested by the NYPD at his Bronx apartment in connection with his conduct at the Wall Street location. On May 31, 2018, Eweka was arrested by the NYPD at the Fifth Avenue location in connection with his conduct at the Empire State Building. These indictments are the result of an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Financial Frauds Bureau and the NYPD. The investigation into these matters is ongoing.