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EFCC secures conviction of internet fraudster wanted by FBI

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THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has secured the conviction of one of the arrested internet fraudsters wanted by the United State’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The EFCC said Abiona Akinyemi Festus was sentenced to two years imprisonment for internet fraud by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Special Offences Court, Ikeja.

This was disclosed in a statement by Dele Oyewale, the Commission’s Head, Media and Publicity,  on Tuesday.

The convict, according to the statement was prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the EFCC on a two-count charge of internet fraud and was on the wanted list of the FBI.

It also disclosed that the FBI had in a petition dated July 10, 2019 appealed to the Ilorin zonal office of the Commission to ensure Festus’ arrest and prosecution, for his roles in multi-million-naira international scam.

The EFCC said one of the charges read, “that you Abiona Akinyemi Festus (Ella Jones), sometime between January 2011- May 2016 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court by means of fraudulent trick used the email address [email protected] to bypass online security and obtained the sum of N5, 950, 000 (Five Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira), only from retirement accounts, held by an insurance company for public workers in the United States of America.”

Festus was said to have pleaded guilty to the charges, upon which the Head of Advance Fee Fraud, EFCC, Ilorin zonal office, Olamide Sadiq, reviewed the facts of the case, which included that defendant was arrested based on a petition from the FBI linking him to the offence.

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Justice Taiwo convicted him as charged and sentenced him to one-year imprisonment on each of the two counts with a N300, 000 option of fine on each of the counts.

The judge also ordered him to return the sums of money he cornered to the FBI.

Olayinka works with The ICIR as the Social Media Manager, Reporter and Fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] You can as well follow him on Twitter via @ShehuOlayinka1

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