A federal high court in uyo on wednesday has sentenced an internet fraudster, Scales Olatunji to 235 years imprisonment.
He was sentenced by Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court, Uyo.
In a brief statement posted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday, Olatunji was sentenced for internet fraud and money laundering.
According to the EFCC, “the judge sentenced Olatunji to seven (7) years imprisonment on counts one to five, and five (5) years imprisonment on counts six to forty-five.”
The antigraft agency quoted the judge saying “the sentence, shall, however, run concurrently with effect from the date of arrest,” implying 7 years.
Scales, a suspected serial fraudster, was first arraigned on July 2, 2019 on 45-count charges bordering on identity theft, money laundering and conspiracy.
He, along with his accomplices were at large prior to his arrest.
They allegedly specialized in impersonating people and using their identities to defraud unsuspecting victims by sending business emails.
The Uyo Zonal Office of the EFCC had arrested and arraigned Scales before Justice A.A. Okeke, on a 45-count charge bordering on impersonation, obtaining by false pretence, conspiracy and fraud.
One of the charges read: “That you, Scales Olatunji Ishola ‘M’, Meraiyebu Charles ‘M’ (at large), Gabriel Adeyemi Olugbenga ‘M’ (at large), Ojomo Oluwatobi Ayodele ‘M’ (at large) and Adekola Oluwatoyin (at large), between January 2017 to October 2018, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, did knowingly cause the loss of N525,172,580 (Five Hundred and Twenty-five Million, One Hundred and Seventy-two Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty Naira) only, being property of the government and people of Norway and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 14 (2) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under the same Section
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, thus setting the stage for his trial.
In view of his plea, the counsel for the EFCC, Nwandu Ukoha, prayed the court to remand him in prison and fix a date for commencement of trial.
The court had on July 1, 2019, granted an application made by the prosecution, seeking for an interim forfeiture of properties belonging to him and his accomplices.
The properties include, House No. 6, Road 2 Westend Estate, Ikota Lekki, Lagos State, and House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate, Lagos State
The matter was thereafter adjourned to October 16, 2019, for hearing of bail application.