The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned mother and son before a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi Lagos.
The EFCC preferred against Damilola Ahmed Adeyeri (son) and his mother, Alaba Kareem Adeyeri a four-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretence to the tune of $82,570.
One of the count reads: “that you, Damilola Ahmed Adeyeri, Alaba Kareem Adeyeri and Karen Russell (still at large) sometime on the 21st day of June 2017, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the court conspired to fraudulently impersonate the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of American Cranes Manufacturing Company with intent to gain monetary advantage in the sum of $82,570 (Eighty-Two Thousand Five Hundred and Seventy US Dollars) and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) (b) and 22 (3) of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition Prevention etc) ACT, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (1) of the same Act.”
Another count reads: “That you Damilola Ahmed Adeyeri, Alaba Kareem Adeyeri and Karen Russell (still at large), some time on the 19th day of July 2017, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court dishonestly represented yourself as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of American Cranes Manufacturing Company thereafter you sent an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with intent to gain advantage to yourselves and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) (a) and 22 (3) of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition Prevention etc) ACT, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (1) of the same Act”.
They pleaded guilty to the counts, while the sitting judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Anek after hearing the four-count charges sentenced them to three years each for individual counts, thus making it 12 years for the duo.
According to Tony Orilade, the Acting Head, Media & Publicity of the anti-graft commission, the EFCC commenced its investigation after receiving a petition from the Federal Bureau of Investigation against Damilola Adeyeri and others now at large on an alleged case of conspiracy, obtaining under false pretence, money laundering and computer-related fraud.
The FBI petition had alleged that the official email address of American Cranes Manufacturing company was hacked and as a result, the sum of $82,570 was stolen by the defendants.
“The petitioner [FBI] reported that there was a syndicate of fraudsters who defrauded many companies through business mail compromise and obtained millions of dollars from American citizens,” Idi Musa, an investigator with the EFCC testified in court.
According to EFCC account, the son, Damilola was arrested on September 6, 2019, and the mother was subsequently arrested when she went to withdraw money from the bank upon hearing that EFCC was investigating her son.
The court also ordered that all properties procured with the illicit fund and monies recovered should be forfeited to the Federal Government and upon applications by the victims, restitution be made to them.