The Story Behind the MBA Forex Scam and Closure

The Story Behind the MBA Forex Scam and Closure

MBA was a Nigerian-based forex trading company started in 2018. Since its recent shutdown and amidst swirling rumors of fraud, many are left wondering what exactly happened — and how to spot similar scams going forward.


Clients of MBA, mainly Nigerians, deposited money in the hopes of receiving a promised monthly return rate of 15% to 20%. By late 2020, however, clients weren’t able to withdraw funds. Then, the company essentially disappeared, taking customers’ money with it.

The CEO, Maxwell Odum, was accused of operating a Ponzi scheme, defrauding investors of roughly $462 million (₦213 billion).

MBA Forex: How it Started and Ended

MBA Forex: How it Started and Ended

MBA Forex is officially registered as MBA Capital and Trading Limited. The company was started in 2018 by Maxwell Odum in Lagos, Nigeria.

The company ran extensive social media campaigns and became quite popular, promising regular monthly returns of 15% or more. Investors were told they could withdraw funds at any time, although that turned out not to be the case.

The company collected more than 200 billion in Nigerian naira, the currency of Nigeria. In total, based on the complaints received, the company owes approximately ₦213 billion to investors, equal to about $462 million in U.S. dollars.

By Christmas of 2020, the company was facing difficulties. It shuttered its doors, and clients weren’t able to withdraw funds. The company put out a statement that they were experiencing technical issues. Investors complained that the company was no longer returning phone calls or emails.

returning phone calls or emails

By July of 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Nigeria issued a statement warning the public that the company was operating illegally, that it was a Ponzi scheme, and that the company was not licensed to accept funds.

Further reading

MBA Forex: False Promises and Large Losses

MBA Forex: False Promises and Large Losses

It is unclear whether the company actually even traded the money it received. In either case, most investors who invested in the company never saw their initial deposits again, let alone any profits.

Regulations generally forbid companies from guaranteeing a certain return in volatile assets like stocks, forex, or commodities.

While certain investors, traders, trading desks, hedge funds, and even stock indices can produce great returns, such statistics must be included with other warnings; for example, they could caution that the results are based on historical data, which may not be indicative of future results.

The aggressive nature of MBA’s social media campaigns focused on the return potential to lure in customers, while not mentioning the risks. Past returns are only indicative of how someone has done in the past. This can be a measure of how they may perform in the future, but not always.

For reference, the S&P 500 has a 10.3% yearly return over the last 100 years. It is a reasonable forecast for what the average investor could make if investing in large highly profitable companies (like those included in the S&P 500 index).

The S&P 500 includes the largest 500 companies in the U.S. MBA Forex was offering more than double that per month, which should raise some red flags. When compounding returns, 20% month ends up being close to a 700% return per year.

While some elite traders produce 700% returns in a year, it is extremely rare, and such people are rarely trading other people’s money or asking for it.

Further reading

MBA Forex: Who is To Blame

MBA Forex: Who is To Blame

The main culprit behind the MBA Forex scam is Maxwell Chizi Odum, who was the CEO of the company.

In 2021, the Nigerian law enforcement agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), issued a notice that Odum was a wanted man for alleged financial crime, including money laundering and operating a Ponzi scheme.

Ponzi scheme

Anyone who knew the whereabouts of Odum was told to report to the EFCC or local authorities. It was reported in August of 2022 that Odum had been arrested.

However, those claims have yet to be substantiated by other sources, and there are no court or trial documents to indicate he has seen the inside of a courtroom or received a sentence. The full extent of the fraud perpetrated by this shady CEO still remains shrouded in mystery.

Further reading


When did MBA forex start in Nigeria? 

MBA Forex, or MBA Capital and Trading Limited, commenced operations in 2018. The company promised 15% or more monthly returns to investors that deposited funds with the forex investment firm. The company ceased operations in 2020 after being unable to deliver payouts to its clients.

How long has MBA Forex been in business?

MBA Forex was in operation from 2018 to 2020. It closed its doors in 2020, and by 2021 the CEO was wanted for fraud and creating a Ponzi scheme. The company is no longer in operation.

What happened to MBA Forex?

MBA Forex or MBA Capital and Trading Limited was a forex investment firm that operated between 2018 and 2020. It offered investors 15% or more monthly returns on their investment. It closed its doors in 2020 after defrauding investors of over 200 billion naira, the equivalent of $462 million US dollars. A warrant was issued for the arrest of CEO Maxwell Odum in 2021.

Who is the owner of MBA Forex?

Maxwell Odum is the CEO and founder of MBA Forex (MBA Capital and Trading Limited). After the company stopped paying investors, he fled, and a warrant was issued for his arrest in 2021. In total, MBA Forex owes ₦213 billion to investors.

Final Word on MBA Forex Scam

Unfortunately, Ponzi schemes are something investors need to be aware of. Investments that promise high returns should be viewed with extreme skepticism.

While Maxwell Odum perpetuated the MBA Forex fraud, without willing investors, no one would have lost money. Investors are often all too eager to fork over money for high returns, even though the risk of it being unsustainable, or possibly illegal, is high.

As opposed to trusting an individual or a single forex company, those looking for a stable investment are advised to invest in exchange traded funds (ETFs) based on major global exchanges such as the S&P 500. While these investments won’t make 15% per month like MBA Forex was promising, they are a viable way to build wealth slowly over the long term.

Further reading