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How American conman Ramirez defrauded 5 Nigerians of $1.5million

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A Nigerian businessman, Mr Olukayode Sodimu, on Friday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court how an American and alleged serial conman, Marco Ramirez, defrauded him of 145,000 dollars in a green card scam.
Ramirez is accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of defrauding five Lagos-based Nigerians of $1.5 million.
Ramirez faces two separate criminal suits at the Special Offences Court.
He is standing trial alongside his companies – USA Now LLC, Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now Capital Group.
In the first suit, the American is accused of allegedly defrauding two Nigerians – Gabriel Edeoghon and Oludare Talabi of $388,838.
In the second suit, he allegedly defrauded three Nigerians- Amb. Godson Echejue, Mr Abubakar Umar and Sodimu of $1.2 million.
While being led in evidence by Mr M. F. Owede, the EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Sodimu told the court that he first got to know Ramirez and his company in 2013 through an advertisement in the Guardian Newspapers for an Employment-based Fifth Preference (EB-5) American Investment programme.
“The advert in the paper said that USA Now LLC, is the regional centre for the EB-5 Investment Programme and that one can invest $500,000 in the investment.
“It stated that by investing $500,000, the investor and his children under 21-years of age will be issued a U.S. Green Card, which implies permanent residency in the U.S.”
Sodimu told the court that after seeing the advert, he verified the authenticity of the programme and that he found out online that such programme exists and that he attended a seminar which was advertised in the newspapers to be holding in Eko Hotels.
He said that at the seminar, Ramirez gave a lecture and that after the lecture, he had a meeting with Ramirez.
“The defendant mentioned that a number of Nigerians have benefited from the programme and that they had either received green card or are about to get green card through his offers.
“He presented Umar who is the second Prosecution Witness (PW2) in this case as someone who had paid his $500,000 and Umar’s process had gotten to the final stage and he was about to do his medicals.
“I believed him and I chose to participate. I met him several times after that day to verify his claims and make enquiries. He gave me a brochure that had some explanations and stated that had he had American Government backing for the programme.
“He gave me a pre-qualification questionnaire. I filled it and he took it back to the United States.
“I got an email from a lady he told me was his personal assistant. Based on the responses on the questionnaire I was given sets of forms and requirements I had to meet,” he said.
The businessman said he was required to pay $500,000 to a separate account called an investment account and that he was required to pay an additional $45,000 for administrative fees into the defendant’s bank account.
“He said that being an investment, the $500,000 is repayable with interest after five-years. I read through the agreement given to me before paying a kobo.
“The agreement made it clear that all the money, including the $45,000 is refundable if the investor is not accepted by the American Government.”
Sodimu said that in June 2013, he paid the $45,000 administrative fee in five tranches within a week and two months later he paid $100,000 which was the first instalment of the $500,000 investment fee.
“As at the time the $100,000 was transferred, I had the whole money but in naira. The banking regulation is that one can only register such amount of money from the inflow from the proceeds of export.
“At the time I could only get $100,000 in tranches and the defendant was putting so much pressure on me.”
Sodimu said that while he was figuring out how he was going to get the balance of the $500,000 investment fee, he found out via the internet that Ramirez and his spouse were under investigation by the FBI in America for fraud.
“When I saw the news report, I was very worried and very concerned. I called Marco and I told him what I saw on the internet. He confirmed it but said it was just a minor problem and it will soon be resolved.
“I took a flight to the U.S. a few days later to find out what was going on and I had a meeting with him and from the discussion I realised things were far worse than he claimed on the phone.

“I spoke to his lawyer and officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Texas and I found out that he was under investigation by the FBI, following a petition by his victims.
“When it became obvious that I could have been duped, I remembered some people I saw during the seminar and I made some phone calls and I was able to identify four people who were in similar or worse situations than mine.”
Sodimu told the court that he and other alleged victims of the American made several fruitless efforts to contact him to refund their money.
When they realised they had been duped, Sodimu said they petitioned the EFCC through the law firm of Festus Keyamo and Co.
He said that in 2015, he and the other victims learnt that Ramirez was still coming to Nigeria to transact businesses.
He said the American was apprehended by the anti-graft agency during one of his business visits to Nigeria.
“Till now he has not paid me back the $145,000 neither has he issued me a green card,” Sodimu said.
NAN reports that according to the EFCC, Ramirez committed the offences between February 2013 and August 2013 in Lagos.
He is alleged to have defrauded Sodimu, Amb. Godson Echejue and Mr Abubakar Umar of a total of $1.2 million.
The offences contravene Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006. For continuation of trial.
Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case till Nov. 13 for continuation of trial.
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Usain Bolt becomes a proud father as he welcomes the birth of his baby girl

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Olympic sprint legend Usain Bolt has become a father for the first time after welcoming the birth of a baby girl with partner Kasi Bennett, reports said Monday.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness appeared to confirm the birth of Bolt’s daughter in a social media post.

“Congratulations to our sprint legend Usain Bolt and Kasi Bennett on the arrival of their baby girl!” Holness wrote on Twitter.

Local media reports said the couple’s daughter was born on Sunday.

No further details were immediately available.

Bolt, 33, had revealed he was expecting a daughter with Bennett on social media in March, jokingly warning any future suitors to steer clear of his daughter.

“Any man! Any boy! Don’t play with me!” the eight-time Olympic gold medallist quipped.

Bolt, the world record holder at 100m and 200m, retired from athletics in 2017 after a decade of dominance in men’s sprinting.

At the 2016 Olympics, Bolt became the only man to win the 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympics.

The post Usain Bolt becomes a proud father as he welcomes the birth of his baby girl appeared first on Talk of Naija.

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I will collect money from my Ex, there was no Ex that didnt ‘CHOP’ my money – Tope Mark-Odigie

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In a programme tagged ‘Hot Topic’ on TVC’s chat fest show,Your view,with guest speaker,Tope Mark-Odigie,a hot question was asked ” Would you take money from your ex even when you’re married?

This was in response to a man who cried out online that his wife has been collecting money constantly from her ex for the upkeep of the house especially since he was out of job.

He felt really hurt and accused the wife of infidelity. Hence the question :Was it right for the woman to ask for help from the ex?

Tope Mark-Odigie addressing the topic, said in her home she does full disclosure with her husband – meaning she tells her husband anything even though they still quarrel.However speaking from experience, ‘many men’ can’t handle full disclosure.

Speaking on getting financial help from an Ex, Tope-Mark Odigie sees noting wrong in getting help from someone who you once had a relationship with as long as you’re not rewarding them with sex for financial help.

Excerpt of her response:

“I will totally collect money from my ex, there is no ex that didn’t ‘chop’ my money. Even when I dated somebody that was financially comfortable, I always feel I must do something for you too – so I have added value to everybody that has come in contact with me, and If they feel in the long term when I need help they want to support me, I don’t see anything wrong! As long as they’re not compelling me to reward them immediately – like have sex with them for that financial help, I don’t see anything wrong in asking for financial help from someone I had a relationship with before….”

The post I will collect money from my Ex, there was no Ex that didnt ‘CHOP’ my money – Tope Mark-Odigie appeared first on Talk of Naija.

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Ufuoma McDermott at loggerheads with hubby over flogging kids

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Ufuoma McDermott shared that she has differing opinions from her husband when it comes to disciplining their children.

The 39-year-old mother of two made this known when she posed a question to her Instagram followers asking fans;

“In an argument with hubby:
IS IT ACTUALLY POSSIBLE TO BRING UP A VERY DISCIPLINED CHILD WITHOUT #FLOGGING ?
Let’s get your experience as a child, a parent or both please. 😭😭😭”

It is safe to say who is on what end of the flogging spectrum as Ufuoma Mcdermott is married to Steven McDermott, a British nationale and Nigerian parents as a rule are not known to ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’.

Opinions on the matter were divided as some were for flogging and others against it as seen in the comment section of that post.

The post Ufuoma McDermott at loggerheads with hubby over flogging kids appeared first on Talk of Naija.

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