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Nigerian Fraud Suspect Extradited to US over Alleged $148,000 Scam, Risks 20 Years Imprisonment
•Court jails four internet scammers in Edo
A wire fraud suspect, Adedunmola Gbadegesin, was on Monday, April 26, 2022, extradited to the United States where he is wanted in a case of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
The offences contravene Title 18, US Code, Section 1349 and 1956 (h) and carries a maximum jail term of 20 years.
A statement by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said his extradition was coordinated by the commission following a request from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, pursuant to a February 11, 2022, Order by Justice D.E Osiagor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/765/21, which granted a request to extradite the suspect to the United States to answer to criminal charges bordering on romance scam, wire fraud and money laundering.
Gbadegesin who was arrested on September 2, 2021, was alleged to have defrauded an America lady living in Kentucky, United States, of over $148,000.
Upon arriving in the United States, the suspect was billed to appear before a United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, where two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering had been filed against him.
Meanwhile, four internet fraudsters, Omokhua Bright, Nosakhare Uyi, Endurance Omonefe and Osasenaga Desmond, were yesterday convicted and sentenced to various jail terms by Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of Edo State High Court, Benin City.
The quartet were arraigned separately by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on one count charge of impersonation and obtaining by false pretence.
The charge against Uyi read: “that you Nosakhare Uyi sometime in February 2022 in Benin City within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud falsely represented yourself as one Carey Stephen Bernard (an American soldier) on the WeChat Platform and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 484 of the Criminal Code law Cap 48, Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (as applicable in Edo State) 1976 and punishable under the same section.”
Also, the charge against Bright read: “that you Omokhua Bright sometime between year 2020 to 21st February 2022 in Benin City within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate the identity of one Micole, an American on your Instagram account with intent to defraud unsuspecting investors in bitcoin business and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the Criminal Code Cap 48, Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (as applicable in Edo State) 1976.”
A separate statement by EFCC upon arraignment of the defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Austin Ozigbu, K.Y. Bello and I. K. Agwai prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced the duo of Uyi and Desmond to three years’ imprisonment or a fine of N200, 000 and N300, 000 respectively.
Bright bagged five years imprisonment or a fine of N300, 000, while Omonefe bagged two years imprisonment or a fine of N150, 000.
The duo of Bright and Uyi are to forfeit their cars, Lexus 350 SVU and Mercedes Benz C300, to the federal government of Nigeria.
All the defendants are also to forfeit their phones to the federal government of Nigeria and undertake in writing to be of good behaviour.