Ponzi scheme operator convicted, as court orders refund of N110m to victims

A ponzi scheme operator, Maryam Abu Shinga, has been convicted by Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Kano State.

The court ordered Shinga to refund a sum of N110, 000,000 in restitution to victims of the ponzi scheme.

The woman was convicted Tuesday March 2, 2021 on one count amended charge of retention of proceeds of crime.

It was said that the convict lured her victims into a phony gold mining investment, telling them that where an investor stood to earn 300% profit.

Shinga had claimed that when an investor invests N500,000, he could earn N1,500,000 as returns on the investment over a period of four weeks.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said its investigation “revealed that the convict was never into gold mining or any of such investment.”

The EFCC stated that it also discovered that even though Shinga was able to pay some early investors with funds taken from later investors, she had diverted N394,541,910, belonging to several other investors.

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Shinga had pleaded ‘not guilty’, but during trial, the prosecution was asked to have called five witnesses and tendered several documents in evidence.

However, before the prosecution could close its case, the woman opted for a plea bargain.

“In his judgment, Justice Allagoa accepted the terms of a plea bargain agreement, convicted and sentenced the defendant to restitute the complainants in the sum of N110, 000,000,” the EFCC said.

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