Cyber-criminal Nigerian who scammed American convicted, spared jail

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of a Nigerian online scammer Forgive Ochuko, for a one-count charge bordering on internet fraud. In the cyberworld, Ochuka is known as Greg Robert.

Ochuko, who was arraigned before Justice N.E. Maha of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday was arrested by operatives of the EFCC, following action on intelligence report indicating his involvement in cybercrime. The surveillance mounted by operatives further confirmed his involvement in internet fraud activities.

Following conclusion of investigations, he was arraigned for defrauding an American, Kaye Wilkins, while posing as one Greg Robert.

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The charge against him read: “That you, Forgive Ochuko (aka Greg Robert), sometime in March 2019 at Sapele, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, fraudulently impersonated a citizen of the United States of America, named Greg Robert on Facebook, with intent to obtain the sum of $2,000 (Two Thousand Dollars), from Kaye Wilkins of the United States of America, via Western Union money transfer and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2)(b)(ii) of the Cybercrime Prohibition (Prevention) Act 2015, and punishable under Section 22(2)(b)(iv) of the same Act.”

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He pleaded “guilty” to the charge after it was read to him in court.

Following his guilty plea, counsel for the EFCC, Dachi Usman, informed the court of a plea bargain agreement between the prosecution and defence, and urged “this honourable court to adopt it”.

There was no objection by the defence counsel, David Amana, who confirmed the plea bargain agreement with the prosecution.

Justice Maha, convicted him, accordingly and held that: “With all we have heard from both counsel, and the defendant understands the charge read to him, and pleaded guilty to the charge, therefore the two exhibit found on him, iPhone 6S and Infinix phones should be sold and the money shall be returned to the Federal Government’s account.

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“The convict shall pay the fine of N300,000 to the victim, Kaye Wilkins through the Commission and the Commission shall return the money to the US Embassy or one year imprisonment.”

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