An Ikeja Special Offenses Court in Lagos state on Monday sentenced a former Federal Polytechnic student, Auchi, Francis Nduka to two years in prison for pretending to be an American attorney.
Nduka, a cybercriminal, scammed his victims out of $3,700.
Judge Ramon Oshodi delivered the verdict after the convict, who said he had been involved in love affairs since 2020, pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Nduka was also accused of obtaining a list of eminent lawyers printed out from his Gmail account.
After the convict pleaded guilty to the charges, the EFCC attorney, Ms. Orhieoghene Adewunmi, presented the facts of the case.
Adewunmi said: “Sometime in April 2022, we received an intelligence report that some individuals were conducting fraudulent activities in the Iju Ishaga area of Lagos State.
EFCC officers arrested him and recovered a black iPhone 11 Plus, a gray Lenovo laptop and a silver Lexus 350 saloon with license plate, SMK 297GW, 2011 model.
“We found out in the defendant’s gadgets that he was posing as an American attorney named Richard Ratz and also posing as Holland Diana, a yoga therapist, raising $3,700 from people.
“He confessed to the crime when he was arrested and also made a confession.
“Initially, a sevenfold indictment was made and he chose to plead; So we’ve narrowed it down to a two-count charge. I have the confession and other documents and the car that was picked up from him was registered.
“In return for the money, the defendant has agreed to forfeit the car, laptop and iPhone 11 to the federal government,” she said.
Nduka told the court in his clemency plea that he started the internet fraud in 2020.
“I’m very sorry for what I did; it will never happen again,” he added.
The convict’s attorney, KA Adam, urged the court to be lenient in sentencing Nduka.
In delivering the verdict, Judge Ohodi said: “You have violated every attorney in court today. Do you think you’re better than them? So you’ve been posing as an American lawyer since 2020?
“Francis Nduka, I have heard your plea for clemency and that of your attorney to imprison you.
“Let it be known that the legal profession is a noble profession and you have shown no remorse in pleading for mercy.
“I hereby sentence you to one year in prison on the first charge and one year in prison on the second charge or pay a N$5 million fine to the Lagos State Registry Office.
“He should be taken to maximum detention and the sentence should run at the same time.
“All items, a black Apple iPhone 11 plus, a gray Lenovo laptop and a silver Lexus 350 sedan license plate SMK 297GW, 2011 model, should revert to the federal government.”