March 26, 2023

Court sentences ‘Yahoo boy’ to 235yrs imprisonment over N525m internet fraud

A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state has convicted and sentenced a notorious international fraudster, Scales Olatunji, to 235 years imprisonment for internet fraudster d and money laundering.

Olatunji was arrested by operatives of the EFCC on March 20, 2019 and arraigned on July 2, 2019 on 45-count charges bordering on identity theft, money laundering and conspiracy.

Between January 2017 to October 2018, the convict conspired with four others (at large) to fr@udulently acquire the total sum of N525,172,580 through Business E-mail Compromise and Identity Theft, the court heard.

On May 15, 2018, he sent an email to one Monica Goulmoen of the Charity Association for providing girls and boys in Kobane with a football pitch, while impersonating a certain Per Ravn Omdal, a former Norwegian Football Association President, demanding the sum of €64,000 to be transferred to him.

He, however, pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, thus setting the stage for his trial.

Delivering judgment on Monday, June 27, 2022, Justice Agatha Okeke convicted Olatunji on all the 45-counts preferred against him by the EFCC.

Justice Okeke said that, “The evidence of the prosecution witnesses are consistent and the prosecution established the guilt of the defendant in the case of money laundering as it relates to count one to five of the charges.

The prosecution also established the guilt of the defendant in the offence of cybercrime as it relates to count six to 45 of the charges. The prosecution, on the totality of evidence before this court, proved the charges against the defendant.”

The judge sentenced Olatunji to seven years imprisonment on counts one to five, and five years imprisonment on counts six to 45. The sentence, shall, however, run concurrently with effect from the date of arrest.

The court also ordered that the money in the convict’s account be forfeited to Norwegian citizens through the EFCC. Also, two of his houses in Lagos State are to be sold by the EFCC and the proceeds restituted to the Norwegian victims.

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