Friday, 2 February 2018

Court Jails Woman 10 Years For $240,000 Fraud

Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has convicted and sentenced a businesswoman, Taiwo Martins, to 10 years imprisonment on an 11-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretenses and issuance of dud cheque to the tune of $ 240,000.00.

The convict was prosecuted alongside her company, Baal-Perazim Investment Limited, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, following receipt of a petition from the complainant, Sholari Olasunkami, on May 19, 2011.

The defendant allegedly told the complainant that she could help him to obtain a credit facility of $65,000,000.00(Sixty-five Million United States Dollars), if he could raise the sum of $300,000(Three Hundred Thousand Dollars) to access it.

The complainant further alleged that he could only raise an initial sum of Two Hundred and Forty Thousand Dollars ($240,000.00) out of the $300,000.

However, the defendant, thereafter, allegedly became evasive after receiving the money.

The defendant was said to have become suspicious and worried after reading a publication, where a disclaimer was placed on the defendant by a company, Broad Gate Group Plc., warning members of the public not do business with Bal- perazim Investment Limited.

The defendant was later arested by operatives of the Commission.

The convict had pleaded not guilty when she was arraigned, thereby setting the stage for her full trial.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel, Ayokunle Fayanju, called three witnesses, including Alex Ogoble, an investigator with the EFCC, and tendered several documents as exhibits.

Delivering his judgment on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, Justice Ipaye found Martins guilty and sentenced her to 10 years imprisonment on seven counts of obtaining money under false pretences.

She was, however, acquitted and discharged on counts eight to 11.

The prosecution counsel, Fayanju, urged the court to order the restitution of the sum of Two Hundred and Forty Thousand Dollars to the victim.

The judge made an order of restitution of the sum of Two Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars ( $240,000.00) to the victim.

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