Shola Henry, a cryptocurrency trader who was charged with seven counts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has been found guilty.
According to reports, the anti-graft agency filed an amended seven-count charge against the defendant for stealing and obtaining money from his clients under false pretences.
Reading Henry’s charges before an Ikeja Special Offences Court on Wednesday, August 3, EFCC counsel, Ahmed Yerima, claimed that the suspect defrauded his victim of N18.4 million in a phoney cryptocurrency transaction.
The official narrated further that the commission received a petition from one of Henry’s victims alleging that he defrauded him of the said sum under the guise that he would get a 20 per cent return in 60 days.
The prosecution called five witnesses through whom several documentary pieces of evidence were tendered against the defendant.
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EFCC nailed Henry, saying instead of transacting the business as agreed with his victims, the suspect diverted the money he collected for his personal use through his company, Henry Enterprise Concept.
The defence counsel, Mr Adeola Onikosi, however, told the court that his client was a first-time offender and had children who depend on him. The claim was immediately countered by the EFCC counsel, stating that the defendant was a second-time offender.
Yerima also prayed the court to order the defendant to effect restitution to the nominal complainant and for forfeiture of items recovered from him.
The prosecutor said the offences contravened Sections 1(1) (a) 1(3) of the Advanced Fee Fraud And Other Related Offences 2006 and 287 (1)(2) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015.
Delivering a ruling, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo gave the defendant an option of a fine in the sum of N2 million in lieu of serving a jail term at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre.
Taiwo held that the court took note of the allocutus of the defence counsel and submissions of the prosecution in sentencing Henry.
She ordered Henry to repay the nominal complainant N18.4 million within six months and also ordered the forfeiture of the defendant’s iPhone to the Federal Government.