EFCC: Peer-to-Peer Crypto Trader Convicted in Lagos

Peer-to-Peer Crypto Trader Convicted in Lagos

The Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos state, on Friday, October 6, 2023, presided by Justice Nicholas Oweibo convicted a peer-to-peer crypto trader in Lagos for computer-related fraud.

The Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, convicted Lawrence Success on a one-count charge bordering on cybercrimes an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition etc.) Act, 2015.

The EFCC statement reads, “That you, Success Lawrence Karinate, sometime in 2023, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, fraudulently held out yourself on social media platforms, as a female, bearing the name “Jessie Randall”, a fashion influencer, to unsuspecting members of the public, with intent to gain advantage for yourself and you thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition etc.) Act, 2015.” He pleaded “guilty” to the one-count charge preferred against him”.

In response to Success Lawrence Karinat’s admission of guilt, EFCC counsel Usman Abubakar Ahmad called a witness to testify. The witness, Taiwo Owolabi, an EFCC operative, verified that the defendant, along with several others, was apprehended in Lekki on May 26, 2023. “Upon his arrest, he was brought to the EFCC office, where his iPhone and HP computer were analyzed,”. He said.

The EFCC revealed that the defendant had printed fraudulent documents, and he made a restitution payment of N100,000.00 (One Hundred Thousand Naira).

According to the EFCC, following the interrogation, the defendant turned to pig butchering and earned $2,000 (Two Thousand United States Dollars) from it.

The EFCC wrote, “Pig butchering scam is a type of fraud in which criminals lure victims into digital relationships to build trust before convincing them to invest in cryptocurrency platforms”.

The defendant expressed deep remorse for his involvement in criminal activities, assuring the court that he would never engage in internet fraud again.

However, his lawyer, Chikezie Kingsley, implored the court to show mercy, emphasizing that his client was a first-time offender and the court imposed a fine of N200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira) as the sentence.

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