Wednesday 20 April 2016

EFCC arraigns American businessman who duped Nigerians of $2.3m

Marco Antonio Ramirez
An American businessman, Marco Antonio Ramirez, alongside his companies, Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA NOW LLC, was on Monday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for alleged fraud.

The suspect was brought before Justice Peter O. Affen of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, sitting in Maitama, Abuja on an eight-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretense to the tune of $2.3m for the complainants, Prince Ejikeme Ubanagum Mgbemena and Frank Ifaluyi Egbon.

The complainants alleged that the suspect promised to provide American Green Card for members of their families below 18 years.

The suspect allegedly assured them that he would invest the money under the Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Based Fifth Preference (EB-5).

The charge against him reads: “That you Marco Anthonio Ramirez, being the Manager of Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA NOW LLC and you EAGLE Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now LLC on or about 21st of May, 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud obtained through an account titled Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP domiciled at Well Fargo Bank USA the sum of Fifty- Five Thousand United States Dollars ($55,000) from one Ejikeme Ugbanagum Mgbemena under the false pretence of investing for him under the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) Regional Center Program with pretence you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”

The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecution counsel, Samuel A. Ugwuegbulam, in view of his plea, asked the court for a date for trial.

The chief judge, Justice Affen ordered that the accused be remanded in EFCC custody and adjourned the matter till May 21 for hearing of bail application.

Credit: Daniel Ogbeche/DailyPost

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