The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, secured the conviction of Peter Darshewa Felix, Benjamin Johnson and John Jacob before Justice A.A Bello of the Kaduna State High Court.
The trio were all arrested in a sting operation for their alleged involvement in cybercrime. They allegedly assumed the identities of foreigners to defraud unsuspecting victims of their hard-earned money through phantom romantic relationships.
Upon arrest, they were arraigned on separate one count charges.
One of the charge reads, “That you, Peter Darshewa Felix ( aka Amanda Hills), sometime in April, 2022 at Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did pretend to be one Amanda Hills ( a citizen of the United States of America) when you knew you were not and in such assumed character cheated one Tom Strong of the sum of Five Hundred and Fifty United States Dollars ( $550) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 308 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law 2017 and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law”
Another charge reads, “That you, Benjamin Johnson (aka Scott Eastwood) sometimes between April and May, 2022 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently obtained property to wit; Gift Cards worth the sum of $400 USD ( Four Hundred United States Dollars) only from fans ( people from United States of America) when you falsely presented yourself to them as Scott Eastwood ( a celebrity in United States of America) via an Instagram Account prviscotteastwood which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.
The charge against John Jacob, reads “John Jacob ( aka Melinate25), sometime in June 2022 at Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, attempted to commit an offence and in such an attempt did a certain act as Melinate25 ( citizen of the United States of America) to unsuspecting victims on Hangout App. ( an online social media application) in order to cheat them and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 57 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law of 2017 and punishable under Section 309 of the same Law”.
They pleaded guilty to all charges preferred against them. The Prosecuting counsel led by N. Salele urged the court to convict all the defendants accordingly. Justice Bello convicted and sentenced all three defendants to 3years imprisonment with an option of N 100,000 as fine. They are to also forfeit all the proceeds of crime.