$370,000 Internet Fraud: How An Alleged Fraudster/Family Defrauded Me-  Victim

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The third Prosecution Witness, PW3, in the ongoing trial of Nwachi Chidozie Kingsley, on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, told justice U.P Kekemeke of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  High Court, Abuja, how the defendant and his entire family allegedly conspired and defrauded her of the sum of $370,000 (Three Hundred and Seventy Thousand United States Dollars).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is prosecuting Kingsley on a two-count charge bordering on stealing, obtaining by false pretence and criminal possession of fake documents to the tune of $370,000(Three Hundred and Seventy thousand United States Dollars).

One of the counts against him reads: “That you, Nwachi Chidozie Kingsley sometime in 2021 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with intent to defraud obtained the total sum of Three Hundred and Seventy Thousand United States Dollars($370,000) from Nicole Kierulff Sayers under the false pretence of being a purported payment to finance a contract with Federal Ministry of Works and Housing with Contract No: RC/FGN/0275AN/20 issued to Nwachi Chidozie Kingsley, a claim which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(b) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.

At the resumed trial on Wednesday, Nicole Kierulff Sayers, an American and lawyer by profession in the state of Oregon, United States,  was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Fatsuma Muhammad and the witness identified the defendant before the court as the man who sent her messages on Facebook during her birthday.

“I know the defendant, the defendant messaged me on Facebook on my birthday and he said he was a member of the same spiritual organization with me. We engaged in romantic discussions and phrases and we engaged in conversations that escalated into a relationship of a romantic type,” she said.

Sayers further told the court that the defendant asked her for money to finance the award of a contract by the Ministry of Works and Housing, claiming that some men were threatening his life if he didn’t provide money to secure the contract.

“Before we met each other, he had asked me for money about eleven days before, and his reason for asking for the money according to him was for the award of a contract by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and alleged that some men were threatening his life, if he did not provide the money to secure the contract.

“He asked me for help, and supplied me with the details of the contract and logo and all the information, I believed that because I was in a vulnerable state and I had developed an emotional connection with him,” she added.

According to her, the defendant told her that if she gave him $15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Dollars), he would repay her within 45days and she believed him, and transferred the money to the defendant, with an instruction to repay her the money.

Narrating how she transferred the money and how she got to meet the family of the defendant,  Sayers said; “I transferred the money using a money transfer app, he received the money and within one week, he asked me to join him in a FaceTime Video with his family. This was his parents’ house and his entire family was there, which included his sister Doris Nwachi, Kenneth Nwachi, sister-in-law Loveline, his father Chizom, his mother Victoria and his alleged daughter Princess who was then two years old.”

Continuing,  Sayers said. “One more uncle of his, who I don’t think is a member of the family, I think is Bishop Ekeke, he and his mother’s brothers were there. He engaged me in video calls and messages and because of the reputation that I can see from a distance that he had, he is very highly regarded in the Port Harcourt area and I thought that I could trust him,  so at the family meeting,  each adult member that I met thanked me for saving the defendant’s alleged contract job and so, I didn’t realize that the entire family could conspire against one innocent woman as myself.

The witness further told the court that she had sent a total amount of $40,000 (Forty Thousand United States Dollars), even before she came to Nigeria to meet the defendant.

“Before I came to Nigeria, I sent to him approximately $40,000 (Forty Thousand US Dollars), and we had continued conversation about him paying back knowing that things will change.  I arrived in Abuja in late March 2022, and I spent two weeks with the defendant and despite his assurances that he wouldn’t leave me alone for extended periods, he left me alone on countless occasions and I stayed at his rented house in Sun City, Abuja. But because I wanted to get my money; I continued the relationship with him. Several months later, he asked for more money, a minimum of 125 transactions. The reason he gave me fall into several categories such as medical contingencies, surgeries, malaria treatment and other categories, such as supplies on the government contracts because he didn’t have the money for the government. He used emotional manipulation and gas lighting.”

“The total amount, and to my best estimate, was well over $200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Dollars), in a period of twelve months, January to December. On a few occasions, he claimed he attempted to wire me money at one specific time.  He produced a document that he claimed was a bank document and that he made an attempt to wire me $10,000 (Ten Thousand Dollars).

“He claimed the bank intercepted it, because he said the bank claimed it was an attempted misappropriation of government funds, so he found himself in jail. He asked me to bail him out and I did, and again he asked me to make provisions for bribes to pay for the criminal case, because he attempted to misappropriate government funds

“Finally in December, after pleading and begging, and showing him my desperation, he agreed to wire more money to me and asked for the bank details and he said “I will do it tomorrow”. Few days later, I asked him,   did you wire the money to me and he said no. That was when I realized that I will never see a penny from him again,” she stated.

Thereafter, the matter was adjourned till November 7, 2024 for continuation of trial.

 

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