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Nwaoha v. Onyeoziri

November 20, 2006

BEATRICE NWAOHA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LASERIAN ARIRIELE ONYEOZIRI, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gladys Kessler United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff, Beatrice Nwaoha, a Maryland resident, brings this suit alleging unjust enrichment, restitution, conversion, fraud, misrepresentation, forgery, and false promises of marriage. Plaintiff seeks equitable and other monetary relief in the amount of $124,746.63. Defendant Laserian Aririele Onyeoziri is a District of Columbia resident.

This matter is now before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim upon Which Relief Can Be Granted [#26]. Upon consideration of Defendant's Motion, Plaintiff's Opposition,*fn1 and the entire record herein, for the reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

I. BACKGROUND*fn2

Plaintiff and Defendant met in the United States sometime prior to 1999. See Pl.'s First Am. Compl. ¶ 1. Shortly thereafter, Defendant proposed marriage to Plaintiff. Id.

At that time, Plaintiff was working overtime at two different jobs as a phlebotomist and saving money to enroll in nursing school. Id. Plaintiff and Defendant agreed that Plaintiff would fund Defendant's education, the two would marry, and, once married, Defendant would help to finance Plaintiff's nursing degree. Id. ¶ 2.

Between 1999 and 2002, Plaintiff provided funds to Defendant for various purposes.*fn3 See id. ¶¶ 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13. More specifically, Plaintiff gave Defendant $45,991.00 to buy land and build a home, for both of them, in Nigeria. Id. ¶ 3. Using the money Plaintiff provided, Defendant purchased land and built a house in Nigeria, but registered the property solely in his name and failed to include Plaintiff's name on the title documents. Id.

Defendant did not contribute any money to the project. Id.

Plaintiff also gave Defendant $10,000.00 to purchase a car for their joint use in Nigeria. Id. ¶ 4. Defendant purchased a car but, once again, failed to include Plaintiff's name on the title documents and registered the car solely in his name. Id.

Between 1997 and 2002, Plaintiff gave Defendant $17,850.00 based on his representation that the money would be used to pay monthly rent due on his apartment. Rent totaled $525.00 per month. However, unbeknownst to Plaintiff, Defendant had obtained the apartment under Section 8 of the Housing Code of the District of Columbia and received a public subsidy covering the majority of his rent. Id. ¶ 10.

In December of 2001, Plaintiff gave Defendant $8,000.00 to make arrangements for their marriage in Nigeria. Id. ¶ 11. Defendant, however, traveled to Nigeria and married a different woman. Defendant also took $2500.00 worth of Plaintiff's clothing and jewelry, which he gave to his wife. Id.

In April of 2002, before Plaintiff learned of Defendant's marriage, she gave him $6,000.00 so that he could travel to Germany and visit his brother who had been injured in a car accident. Id.

¶ 12. Plaintiff also gave Defendant $3,600.00 for miscellaneous education expenses ($600.00 for a graduation ring, $1,000.00 for a graduation party, and $2,000.00 for tuition) and $3,000.00 for his family in Nigeria. Id. ¶ 13.

Defendant also obtained money by accessing Plaintiff's checking, savings, and credit accounts without her permission. See id. ΒΆΒΆ 8, 9, 14. More specifically, without authority, Defendant used Plaintiff's ATM card to take $13,283.00 from her savings account, used her credit card to make $4,072.63 worth of ...


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