Nigerian Man Scams U.S State Of $8000 Covid-19 Benefit

A Nigerian Collins Samuel who obtained $8000 fraudulently as COVID-19 benefit from the U.S. State of Virginia, has been remanded in EFCC custody.

 Justice P. Mallong of the Federal High Court in Kaduna, ordered Samuel’s remand, after he pleaded ‘not guilty’.

 The EFCC Kaduna slammed Samuel with one count charge that borders on impersonation and obtaining by false pretences. 

 Precious Bala Musa: also charged with cyber fraud He was arrested in Jos, Plateau State where he fraudulently represented himself as Ashley Cooper, an American citizen affected by COVID – 19. 

 He obtained $8,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) from Virginia, United States. Investigation revealed that Collins redeemed the $8,000 benefit through bitcoin wallet addresses he got from various cryptocurrency traders. 

Justice Mallong adjourned the case till March 22, for determination of bail application and trial. In a related development, the Kaduna Zonal Office also today arraigned Precious Bala Musa on a three count charge of internet-related fraud.

 He was also arraigned before Justice Mallong. The defendant was arrested in Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. 

This followed information which linked him to several fraud cases that border on false representation, identity theft and obtaining by deception.

 He was particularly alleged to have defrauded a victim of $17 000 USD. Among Bala Musa’s offences was that he fraudulently obtained the password of one Irene Hackett and hacked her bank account. 

After hacking the account, he dishonestly retrieved $3,500, thereby committing an offence contrary to the Cybercrime ( Prohibition Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015”.

 The defendant pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge.

 This prompted the EFCC counsel, P.C. Onyeneho to ask the court to fix a date for trial. Onyeneho asked the court to remand Bala Musa in the Correctional Service’s custody pending trial. 

 Counsel to the defendant, C.J. Nwogu however asked that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody, pending his bail application.

 Justice Mallong, remanded the defendant in the custody of the EFCC. He then adjourned the case till 18 March for hearing of bail application.

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