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Court Jails Business Woman 10 Years for $240,000 Fraud

By Wilson Uwujaren
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Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has convicted and sentenced a business woman, Taiwo Martins, to 10years imprisonment on 11-count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence and issuance of dud cheque to the tune of $240,000.

The convict was prosecuted alongside her company, Baal-Perazim Investment Limited, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, following receipt of a petition from a complainant, Sholari Olasunkami, on May 19, 2011.

Martins allegedly told the complainant that she could help him secure a credit facility of $65,000,000.00 (Sixty-five Million United States Dollars), if he could raise a sum of $300,000 (Three Hundred Thousand Dollars) to access it.

The complainant further alleged that he could only raise an initial sum of $240,000.00 (Two Hundred and Forty Thousand Dollars) out of the $300,000.

Martins allegedly became evasive after collecting the money.

The convict was said to have become suspicious after coming in contact with a publication, where a disclaimer was placed on the defendant by a company, Broad Gate Group Plc., warning members of the public not to do business with Bal-perazim Investment Limited.

Martins was later arrested by the EFCC.

In the course of the trial, the prosecuting counsel, Ayokunle Fayanju, called three witnesses, including Alex Ogoble, an operative of the EFCC, and tendered several documents as exhibits.

Justice Ipaye on Tuesday, January 30, found Martins guilty and sentenced her to 10years imprisonment on seven counts of obtaining by false pretence.

She was, however, acquitted and discharged on counts 8 to 11.

The judge also ordered the convict to restitute the sum of $240,000 (Two Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) to the victim.


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