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Court convicts ponzi scheme operator, orders return of N110m to victims

Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court, Kano on Tuesday convicted one Maryam Abu Shinga on one count amended charge of retention of proceeds of crime. She was also ordered to pay the sum of N110m in restitution to victims

The convict was said to have lured her victims into a phony gold mining investment where she represented that the investor stands to earn 300% profit. She claimed that when an investor invests N500, 000, such investor could earn N1.5m as returns on investment over a period of 4 weeks.

Investigation, however, revealed that the convict was never into gold mining or any such investment. It was also discovered that even though Shinga was able to pay some early investors with funds taken from later investors, she allegedly diverted N394.5 million belonging to several other investors.

Upon arraignment, Shinga pleaded ‘not guilty’ thereby setting the stage for trial.

During the trial which commenced on January 23, 2020, the prosecution called five witnesses and tendered several documents in evidence. However, before the prosecution could close its case, the convict opted for a plea bargain.

In his judgment on Tuesday, March 2, 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.

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