DAMILOLA Ahmed Adeyeri and mother, Alaba Kareem Adeyemi on Tuesday have been convicted on a four-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of $82, 570.
According to a statement signed by the Acting Head, Media and Publicity, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Tony Orilade, the duo was convicted at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos following the suit filed against them by the commission.
“Amed with the petition, the operatives of the Commission immediately swung into action and upon investigations found out that his mother was an accomplice in the crime,” the EFCC said.
An EFCC investigator, Idi Musa while been “led in evidence narrated to the court that sometime in April 2019, the commission received a petition from the FBI, alleging that the official email address of American Cranes Manufacturing company was hacked and as a result of the sum of $82, 570 was stolen by the fraudsters”.
Musa told the court that the petitioner reported that there was a syndicate of fraudsters who defrauded many companies through business mail compromise and obtained millions of dollars from American citizens.
He also revealed in the statement that Damilola was arrested on September 6, 2019, after which his mother was apprehended when she went to withdraw money from the bank upon hearing that EFCC was investigating her son.
He also told the court that the sums stolen by the convicts were used to acquire properties in choice areas of Lagos, and some cash were found in their accounts.
The statement read in part, “One of the counts reads: “that you, Damilola Ahmed Adeyeri, Alaba Kareem Adeyeri and Karen Russell (still at large) sometime on the 21st day of June 2017, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the court conspired to fraudulently impersonate the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of American Cranes Manufacturing Company…
“…with intent to gain monetary advantage in the sum of $82, 570. 00 and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) (b) and 22 (3) of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition Prevention etc) ACT, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (1) of the same Act.”
The trio with Karen Russel (still at large) on July 2017, in Lagos, had in false pretence represented the CEO of American Cranes Manufacturing Company and “thereafter you sent an email from [email protected] with intent to gain advantage to yourselves and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) (a) and 22 (3) of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition Prevention etc) ACT, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (1) of the same Act”.
The convicts pleaded guilty to the charges.
In view of their guilty plea, and subsequent analysis of the documentary evidence before the court, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke found them guilty on all counts and sentenced them to three years imprisonment on each count, which is to run concurrently.
He further ordered that all the properties and monies recovered from the convicts be forfeited to the Federal Government and upon applications by the victims, restitution be made to them.