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Court jails man for $15,000 romance scam

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The Lagos Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured the conviction of one Chimah Daniel Iweregbu for engaging in internet fraud before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos.

Prior to his arrest on August 12, the convict was said to have been on the wanted list of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

He was arraigned on December 4, 2020, following his arrest by operatives of the EFCC on August 12, 2020 for his involvement in online romance scam.

He pleaded guilty to the charges, prompting the prosecuting counsel, Franklyn Ofoma, to urge the court to sentence and convict him accordingly.

In his review of the facts against the defendant, Ofoma told the court that an investigation of the FBI intelligence report given to the EFCC revealed that he was into online romance scam.

According to Ofoma, forensic analysis of his phone and computer revealed indicting documents and other evidence, which he used to perpetrate the $15,000 fraud.

Ofoma, thereafter, presented in evidence the documents printed by the EFCC from his mobile phone and computer, the statement he made in the EFCC custody as well as the intelligence report of the FBI, all of which were admitted as exhibits.

The defense counsel, Z.S. Makinde, pleaded with the Court to temper justice with mercy, as the convict did not waste the time of the Court and was a first-time offender.

Justice Taiwo sentenced him to 18 months in prison on each of the three counts to run concurrently, with an option of fine of N100, 000.00 on each count.

The Judge also granted the application of the prosecution to forfeit the iPhone and laptop recovered from him to the Federal Government.

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