JUST IN; 25-year-old Man, sentenced to jail over $5,000 fraud

JUST IN; 25-year-old Man, sentenced to jail over $5,000 fraud

An Ikeja Special Offences Court, on Wednesday, sentenced a 25-year-old man, Babatunde Shittu, to one year in jail for engaging in and benefitting from $5,000 cryptocurrency fraud.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Shittu had claimed to be an investor in cryptocurrency, and produced fraudulent documents in that regard in order to defraud members of the public.

Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe convicted and sentenced him after he pleaded guilty to a count charge of cryptocurrency fraud preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Abike-Fadipe said: “Upon the defendant’s guilty plea and admission of the facts, he is hereby convicted of the one-count charge.

“He is hereby sentenced to one year imprisonment with an option to pay N500,000 fine and embark on 40 hours of community service.”

The judge also ordered the convict to forfeit to the Federal Government, his iPhone 12 Pro Max and a MacBook computer, which were recovered from him as proceeds of the crime.

She held that the convict was a first-time offender, who promised to be of good behaviour and make restitution; hence, the liberal sentence.

NAN reports that Shittu had, after pleading guilty, prayed the court for leniency.

”I am really sorry, I have realised my mistake, and I am ready to live a better life and become a better person,” he said.

His counsel, Ms Biola Adeyemi, in her plea for mercy, said that Shittu was genuinely remorseful.

“My lord, he is indeed very sorry for his actions and he has promised to exhibit good behaviour.

“We humbly pray your lordship to temper justice with mercy,” she prayed.

EFCC counsel, Mr Abdullahi Gambuwa, had however, urged the court to convict Shittu and sentence him accordingly.

While reviewing the facts of the case, Gambuwa said that Shittu was arrested by EFCC following an intelligence report.

He said: “He was arrested and he gave a voluntary statement after being interviewed.”

The counsel told the court that Shittu admitted to have benefitted from the $5,000.

“We also recovered an iPhone 12 Pro Max and a MacBook laptop from him.

“He claimed to be an investor in cryptocurrency, thereby misinforming the public,” the prosecution counsel said.

According to EFCC, the offence contravenes Section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud Act of 2006. (NAN)

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