Court jails cyberfraudster scamming 13 countries’ victims

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has successfully prosecuted and secured the conviction of Eze Harrison Arinze before Justice J.K Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja. Arinze was found guilty of defrauding 34 victims in 13 countries, amounting to $592,000.

Arinze, who was re-arraigned on charges of impersonation and obtaining under false pretense, pleaded guilty to the single charge.

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The charge stated that between April 2021 and December 2022 in Abuja, Arinze, under the alias Charlotte Brain, fraudulently impersonated the owner of digitrades.net investment platforms on Telegram. In this assumed character, he obtained cryptocurrency worth $592,000 from Coinbase exchange users through his bitcoin address.

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The victims hailed from Burundi, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, the United States of America, and Zimbabwe.

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Following the guilty plea, prosecution counsel Christopher Mshelia urged the court to convict and sentence Arinze accordingly. Justice Omotosho sentenced Arinze to three years in prison with an option of a N3,000,000.00 fine. Additionally, Arinze was ordered to restitute 11.07 Bitcoins, valued at $461,280.70 as of December 4, 2023, to the 34 victims from the 13 countries.

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Furthermore, the judge directed the forfeiture of a total sum of N37,977,108 from Arinze’s bank accounts to the Federal Government. This includes a plot of land located at plot No. 34 Anioma Layout, Umuchigbo Iji-nike in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.

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