Blessing Egbon, founder and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Exit 7C, has reached a plea deal with the state in which he has agreed to plead guilty to three counts of wire fraud. Egbon allegedly obtained over $6.2 million from 11 investors based on “materially false and fraudulent pretenses,” according to court documents.
Egbon, who used to own gas stations in North Carolina and Virginia, created a digital fuel card that allows users to buy gas at certain stations around the country through its mobile app to prevent credit card skimming.
According to the plea agreement, Egbon told investors he had been involved with certain business entities that do not exist, and also exaggerated the role he played in these fictitious businesses. He also allegedly made false statements to investors about Exit 7C’s revenue, profits, growth and overall financial performance.
There are three specific incidents described in the plea deal that correspond to each of the three counts of wire fraud Egbon has plead guilty to.
The first count stems from an Oct. 15, 2019 incident in which Egbon allegedly falsely told investors and potential investors that Exit 7C had $6.36 million in gross revenue in September of 2019.
The second count is related to an Oct. 23, 2019 incident. Egbon allegedly falsely told investors and potential investors that he had purchased seven businesses
The third and final count stems from a June 25, 2020 incident. Egbon allegedly lied to an investor and said Exit 7C had $13,739,277 in cash on hand as of the end of May 2020.
Each offense carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release.
“(Egbon) used the fraudulently obtained funds largely for personal purposes, including visits to luxury nightclubs, flights on private chartered jets, villa rentals, and payments to himself,” according to a Thursday press release from the Eastern District of Wisconsin U.S. Attorney’s Office.
There is also a separate open civil case against Egbon that was filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Aug. 10, 2021.
A jury trial in the SEC case is scheduled for Aug. 1 of this year.
Exit 7C was previously part of Milwaukee’s fall 2016 gener8tor program and received a $50,000 investment from BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc. The company was started in Washington, D.C. but Egbon chose to relocate to Milwaukee after taking part in the gener8tor program.
Egbon’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment Friday.