An internet fraudster on the wanted list of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the United States Department of Justice has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.
Abiona Festus was convicted and sentenced by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja on Tuesday.
He was prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the agency’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, said in a statement.
Oyewale explained that the FBI, in a petition dated July 10, 2019, had appealed to the Ilorin zonal office of the EFCC to ensure Festus’ arrest and prosecution, for his roles in a multi-million naira international scam.
One of the charges read, “That you Abiona Akinyemi Festus (Ella Jones), sometime between January 2011- May 2016 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court by means of fraudulent trick used the email address firstname.lastname@example.org to bypass online security and obtained the sum of N5,950,000 (Five Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira), only from retirement accounts, held by an insurance company for public workers in the United States of America.”
When the charges were read to him during his arraignment, Festus pleaded guilty.
Thereafter, the EFCC Head of Advance Fee Fraud at the Ilorin zonal office, Olamide Sadiq, reviewed the facts of the case, which included that defendant was arrested based on a petition from the FBI linking him to the offence.
Justice Taiwo then convicted him as charged and sentenced him to one year imprisonment on each of the two counts, with a N300,000 option of fine on each of the counts.
The judge also ordered him to return the sums of money he cornered to the FBI.