The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has secured the conviction and sentencing of Benjamin Ikaa to five years imprisonment for his involvement in $1.6million cryptocurrency fraud.
He was convicted by Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Ikaa pleaded guilty to one-count amended charge, which reads: “That you Benjamin Okenna Ikaa (Alias George; Gavrilovich; P Aleksandra; Aaron Grifin), Chidera Jonas (at large) and Ikaa Ejike Benjamin (at large) on or about 20th December, 2022 at Ugbowa Abakpa-Nike, Enugu, Enugu State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud, did send electronic messages which materially misrepresent facts in your website, www.mchaeveycapital.com about cryptocurrency investment to a Monica Garcia upon which she relied and suffered financial loss in the sum of $120,000.00 (One Hundred Twenty Thousand US Dollars only) and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 14(2) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention etc.) Act 2015.”
In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, Aso Larrys Peter prayed the court to convict him as charged.
However, defence counsel, Abel Adaji, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, stating that the convict has become remorseful and was a first -time offender.
Justice Nwite convicted and sentenced him to five years imprisonment with an option of fine of N5,000, 000( Five Million Naira only).
Ikaa also forfeited an iPhone 13, a Toyota Avalon car, 2013 model to the Federal government.
The $11,000 recovered from him would be returned to his victims. He also wrote an undertaking to steer away from cybercrime henceforth.
Ikaa’s journey to the Correctional Centre began when he was arrested by the EFCC for operating a fictitious cryptocurrency investment website, www.mcharveycapital.com where he promised mouth-watering returns on investment, resulting in his unsuspecting victims incurring a loss of 26 bitcoins as at February 2023.
His victims are from South Africa, Norway, United Kingdom and Barbados.
When confronted with the facts of his fraudulent dealings, he owned up to them.
He was thereafter prosecuted and convicted.