Woman remanded in prison over N45m alleged Ponzi scheme fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned one Maryam Shinga before a federal High Court in Kano over a Ponzi Scheme Fraud.

The defendant was arraigned before the court on a six-count charge of obtaining by false pretense.

She was alleged to have squandered the sum of N45, 460, 00:00 (Forty Five Million, Four Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira Only) belonging to unsuspecting members of the public through a ponzi scheme, called Golden Premier.

The suspect was alleged to have lured her victims into an investment she claimed would generate the investors 300% profit in the sense that when an investor invests N500, 000:00, he stands to win N1, 500, 000:00 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand Naira Only) in a period of 4 weeks only.

According to the complainant, the scheme had run successfully for about six months, a period between August 2017 and February 2018, with some investors getting returns at the end of every four weeks after which the suspects started apologising to the investors and subsequently absconded from public sphere, and from the authorities since May 2018.

Upon the receipt of the complaint, the commission swung into action by sealing up all properties traced to the suspect and subsequently secured an interim forfeiture order on the properties at the Federal High Court, Kano. Since then, the commission’s searchlight was beamed and committed to finding the suspect.

After several attempts to apprehend the suspect proved abortive, she was finally arrested in Abuja and returned to the commission’s Kano zonal office on 27th June, 2019.

One of the charge read that “You Maryam Habu Shinga on or about April 2018, at Kano, within the jurisdiction of the federal high court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N21, 430, 000:00 (Twenty One Million, Four Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira Only) from one Rumaisah Mohammed Sabi’u when you falsely represented that you are dealing in goldmines which representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offense contrary to section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offenses Act 2006 and Punishable under Section 1()(3) of the same Act.”

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges after it was read to her. Prosecution counsel Musa Isah requested the court for a trial date in view of the plea of the defendant.

The defendant’s counsel informed the court that he filed a bail application for his client.

However, since the bail application has not been served on the prosecution and is not properly before the court, the judge adjourned the matter to January 23, 2020, for commencement of trial.

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