A court has sentenced an internet fraudster to jail for defrauding victims across 13 countries.


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has successfully prosecuted and obtained the conviction of Eze Harrison Arinze before Justice J.K Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja. Arinze was found guilty of defrauding 34 victims in 13 countries, amounting to $592,000.

Arinze, who was re-arraigned on charges related to impersonation and obtaining under false pretenses, perpetrated the fraud by posing as Charlotte Brain, the purported owner of digitrades.net investment platforms on Telegram. The victims hailed from various countries, including Burundi, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, Uganda, the United States of America, and Zimbabwe.

The charge against Arinze read: “That you, EZE HARRISON ARINZE alias Charlotte Brain, sometime between April 2021 and December 2022 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, did fraudulently impersonate one Charlotte Brain, a purported owner of digitrades.net investment platforms on Telegram and, in that assumed character, obtained cryptocurrency worth $592,000.00 from Coinbase exchange users, through your bitcoin address – 333AgHuT8wAhowRBQZ2AS, domiciled with Coinbase, a Virtual Asset Service Provider, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(3)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, 2015, and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.”

Arinze pleaded guilty to the charge, leading the prosecution counsel, Christopher Mshelia, to request the court to convict and sentence him as charged.

Justice Omotosho sentenced Arinze to three years imprisonment, with an option of a N3,000,000.00 fine. Additionally, the judge ordered the restitution of 11.07 Bitcoins valued at $461,280.70 to the 34 victims from 13 countries. The court also directed the forfeiture of a total sum of N37,977,108, held in Arinze’s bank accounts, and a plot of land located at plot No. 34 Anioma Layout, Umuchigbo Iji-nike in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State to the Federal Government.

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