The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re- arraigned an American, Marco Ramirez, at the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos for allegedly defrauding Nigerians in a green card scam.
EFCC alleged that Ramirez was a serial fraudster having been previously arraigned on similar offences. According to the anti-graft agency, he was earlier arraigned before Justice Josephine Oyefeso, on 16-counts charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretences.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, Ramirez and his companies were re-arraigned on a fresh nine-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretences. He allegedly defrauded two Nigerians: Gabriel Edeoghon and Oludare Talabi of $388,838.
According to Mrs Vera Aigboje, the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Ramirez committed the alleged offences in 2013 and 2014 in Lagos. “From May 22 to July 26, 2013, Ramirez on three occasions received a total of $291,290 from Edeoghon. She added that from February 28, 2014 to April 17, 2014 Ramirez also on six occasions received $97,549 from Talabi.
“He falsely represented to the defendants that the funds were investments into his companies in the Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) United States of America Investor Programme. He informed the complainants that their investments would qualify them to be eligible for a USA green card.
“The offences contravene section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act,” Aigboje said.
Earlier, he was admitted on bail in the sum of $250,000 which was complied with and the court yesterday allowed him to continue enjoying the bail and adjourned the case until October 10 for trial.