The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured the conviction and sentencing of one Eze Harrison Arinze before Justice J.K Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for defrauding 34 victims in 13 countries of $592,000.
Arinze was re-arraigned on one charge bordering on impersonation and obtaining under false pretence.
This was made known in a statement on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions X handle (formerly Twitter) on Friday.
According to the statement, his victims are from Burundi, Cameroun, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, the United States of America and Zimbabwe.
The one charge read, “That you, EZE HARRISON ARINZE alias Charlotte Brain, sometime between April 2021 and December 2022 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did fraudulently impersonate one Charlotte Brain a purported owner of digitrades.netxxxxxxxxxxxxxx investment platforms on telegram and in that assumed character obtained cryptocurrency worth $592,000.00 from Coinbase exchange users, through your bitcoin address – 333AgHuT8wAhowRBQZ2ASxxxxxxxx domiciled with Coinbase, a Virtual Asset Service Provider and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(3)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act”.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
In view of the plea, prosecution counsel, Christopher Mshelia urged the court to convict and sentence the defendant as charged.
Justice Omotosho convicted and sentenced Arinze to three years imprisonment, with an option of a N3,000,000.00 fine.
He added that 11.07 Bitcoins valued at $461,280.70 as of December 4, 2023, be restituted to the 34 victims from 13 countries.
The judge ordered that a total sum of N37,977,108 domiciled in his bank accounts be forfeited to the Federal Government, including a plot of land located at plot No. 34 Anioma Layout, Umuchigbo Iji-nike in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.