The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday secured the conviction and sentencing of one Anthony Celestine on a one count charge of possession of fraudulent document before Justice Darius Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court, Kaduna.
Also, Justice Khobo also convicted and sentenced one Daniel Joseph (aka Bruce Wilkins) on one count amended charge bordering on impersonation.
The charge reads, “that you Anthony Celestine, on or about the 22nd of May, 2021 in Kaduna within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and with intent to defraud, had in your possession fraudulent documents which you intended to use for the purpose of soliciting for investment in Bitcoin from the unsuspecting members of the public and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 349 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law, 2017 and punishable under the same Law”.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him. In view of his guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, M.O Arumemi urged the court to enter the terms of a plea bargain agreement as the judgment of the court.
Justice Khobo, consequently convicted and sentenced the defendant to a fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100, 000.00). The defendant will serve three years imprisonment if he fails to pay the fine.
The defendant, is also to forfeit an iPhone 11 Pro Max which he used in perpetrating the crime to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Trouble started for Anthony when he was arrested in a sting operation by the Kaduna Zonal Command of the EFCC.
Read also: Bitcoin: New world money, or biggest scam?
According to a statement from Wilson Uwujaren, head of media and publicity at the EFCC, “intelligence indicated that the defendant and one other approached one Zubairu Umar, a car dealer for the purchase of a Mercedes Benz worth N2, 800,000.00 and insisted on cash payment which aroused the suspicion of the car dealer”.
Several fraudulent documents, including one which indicated that he collected $100USD from a foreigner, were said to have been recovered from the defendant.
The charge against Daniel Joseph (aka Bruce Wilkins) reads: “That you Daniel Joseph(aka Bruce Wilkins) on or about the 22nd of May, 2021 in Kaduna State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court and with intent to defraud, fraudulently impersonated one Bruce Wilkins (a foreign national) via your Facebook Account Bruce Wilkins which you used in soliciting members of the public to invest in Bitcoins and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 142(1) of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law, 2017 and punishable under the same Law”.
He pleaded guilty to the charge.
Justice Khobo, consequently convicted and sentenced the defendant to a fine of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N150, 000.00). The defendant will serve three years imprisonment if he fails to pay the fine.
The defendant is also to forfeit his iPhone 12 Pro Max which he used in perpetrating the crime and the sum of One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00) recovered from him to the Federal Republic of Nigeria
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