A former student of the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi in Edo State, Francis Nduka, has been sentenced to two-year imprisonment for pretending to be an American lawyer.
Student bags prison sentence for pretending to be American lawyer
The convict confessed to have been into scams since 2020.
Nduka was convicted on Monday, January 23, 2023, by an Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos State. The convict, an Internet fraudster, was said to have defrauded his victims of $3,700.
Justice Ramon Oshodi of the court, therefore, handed down the verdict after the convict, who said he had been in a romance scam since 2020, pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Nduka was also accused of procuring a register of eminent lawyers printed from his Gmail account. After the convict pleaded guilty to the charges, the EFCC counsel, Orhieoghene Adewunmi, gave the facts of the case.
Adewunmi said, “Sometime in April 2022, we received an intelligence report that some individuals were carrying out fraudulent activities in the Iju Ishaga area of Lagos State.
“EFCC operatives arrested him and recovered a black iPhone 11 Plus, a gray Lenovo laptop, and a Silver Lexus 350 Saloon car, with number plate, SMK 297GW, 2011 model.
“We found in the defendant’s gadgets that he had been pretending to be an American lawyer named Richard Ratz and also acted as Holland Diana, a Yoga therapist, and collected $3,700 from people.
“He admitted to the offence when he was arrested and also wrote a confession statement.
“Initially, a seven-count charge was filed and he opted for a plea bargain; that was why we narrowed it down to a two-count charge. I have the confessional statement and other documents and the car that was retrieved from him was registered.
“As restitution for the money, the defendant has agreed to forfeit the car, laptop, and iPhone 11 to the Federal Government.”
In his plea for mercy, Nduka told the court that he started Internet fraud in 2020.
“I am very sorry for what I have done; it will never happen again,” he added.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Oshodi maintained that the convict should be taken to the maximum custody, and the sentence should run concurrently.
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