A federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has convicted and sentenced a ‘Yahoo boy’, Scales Olatunji, for internet fraud and money laundering.
Olatunji, who was dragged before the court in July 2019 on 45-count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was sentenced to 235 years imprisonment.
The EFCC commenced a probe after the convict was caught on March 20, 2019 at his Okota residence, following a petition from the Oslo Police District in Norway.
Ishola with his accomplices, Meraiyebu Charles, Gabriel Adeyemi Olugbenga, Ojomo Oluwatobi Ayodele and Adekola Oluwatoyin, who are at large, between January 2017 to October 2018 converted N525,172,580.
Part of the charge sheet reads: “The theft of the funds, which formed part of proceeds of unlawful activities to wit: fraud (Business E-mail Compromise and Identity Theft), violated Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.
“You, Scales Olatunji, on or about May 15, 2018, sent electronic messages (email) using email@example.com to one Monica Goulmoen of the Charity Association for providing girls and boys in Kobane with a football pitch.
“You impersonated Per Ravn Omdal, a former Norwegian Football Association President, demanded and received €64,000.
“The offence negates offence contrary to Section 22 (3)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.”
Though Olatunji pleaded “not guilty” to the 45-count charge, the presiding judge, Justice Agatha Okeke, convicted him, saying the evidence of the prosecution witnesses were consistent and the prosecution established the guilt.
The judge also said the prosecution was also able to establish the offence of cybercrime as it relates to count six to forty five of the charges.
The judge sentenced Olatunji to seven years imprisonment on counts one to five, and five years imprisonment on counts six to forty-five.
The judge ruled that the sentence shall run from the date of arrest, ordering the EFCC to send money in the convict’s account to the affected Norwegian citizens.
The judge further ruled that properties in Lekki at House No. 6, Road 2 West-end Estate in Ikota and House No. 10, Donatus Odum Street, Ikate are to be sold and the proceeds restituted to the victims.