Ponzi Scheme Operator Bags 7-Year Jail Term In Port Harcourt


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A Ponzi scheme operator has been sentenced to seven years in prison for obtaining money under false pretense and issuing dud cheques.

The operator, Umoren Moses Edet, was convicted on 18 June by Justice A.T. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, after being found guilty of one-count charge bordering on advance fee fraud.

Edet was originally arraigned on Thursday, June 28, 2018, on the same one- count charge, to which he pleaded ‘not guilty’, leading to a trial that lasted three years.

Specifically, Edet collected a sum of N7, 000,000 (Seven Million Naira) only, from a petitioner ostensibly for bitcoin transactions.

Edet neither transacted the business nor returned the invested money to the petitioner. This is contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No.14, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

The one count charge read:

“That you Umoren Moses Edet, sometime in 2017, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court with the intent to defraud, obtained the sum of Seven Million Naira (N7, 000,000.00) by inducing one Mrs. Amaka Joy to pay the sum of Seven Million Naira (N7, 000,000.00) for the purchase/trade in bitcoins assuring her under false pretense of making a 50% profit on the investment, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No.14, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.

Prosecution counsel, Celestina Okorie presented three witnesses against the convict, wihile the defence counsel, I. Ekwu, also presented three witnesses.

In his judgment, Justice Mohammed found Edet guilty as charged. He was convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine. He also ordered that the sum of seven million Naira he defrauded the victim be returned to her.


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