Justice I. M Sani of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has convicted and sentenced Uchenna Samuel Nwosu (a.ka. Jackson Mendez) to six months imprisonment for internet fraud, impersonation and obtaining the sum of $500 from an American, Carmen Alvarez, under false pretence.
Nwosu was arraigned by the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office on April 11, 2019 on three-count charges bordering on internet fraud, impersonation and obtaining under false pretences contrary to Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act.
One of the count read: “That you UCHENMNA SAMUEL NWOSU (alias Jackson mendez) on or about February 2019, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court had in your possession (your email address: email@example.com) documents containing false pretence which you knew or ought to know contains false pretence and thereby committed an offence or an attempt to commit an offence contrary to section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under section 1 (3) of the same Act”.
Nwosu originally pleaded “not guilty” to the charges but later changed his plea to “guilty”.
Based on his changed plea, prosecuting counsel, Barrister Samuel Chime prayed the court to convict him accordingly.
Justice Sani convicted and sentenced him to six months imprisonment on each of the three – count charges. The sentence however runs concurrently. The court also ordered Nwosu to restitute the $500 he collected from his victim. Also, the court ruled that a laptop, Lenovo T410, recovered from him should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
Nwosu’s journey to prison began when he was arrested along Liberty Drive, Woji, Port Harcourt, for his involvement in online dating scam. Specifically, he impersonated an American soldier in Syria to defraud Carmen Alvarez, an American lady of $500, being a part-payment of $2,350 he requested from her in an online chat.