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EFCC Re-arraigns American Over $565,000 ‘Green Card Fraud’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday re-arraigned an American, Marco Antonio Ramirez, before the Lagos Special Offences Court in Ikeja for allegedly defrauding three Nigerians of $565,000 (about N203.4m) on the pretext of helping them secure the United States Green Card, The Punch reports.

He was arraigned alongside his companies, USA Now LLC, Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now Capital Group by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on amended 12 counts bordering on conspiracy and obtaining under false pretences.

According to the EFCC, Ramirez and his companies, sometime in February 2013 and August 2013 in Lagos, defrauded Ambassador Godson Echejue, Abubakar Sodiq and Olukayode Sodimu of the said sum.

The defendant and his companies had been arraigned on June 22, 2017, before Justice Josephine Oyefeso on 16 counts bordering on the same offences and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following his not guilty plea, Justice Oyefeso admitted him to bail in the sum of $25,000.

However, midway into the trial, the case file was transferred and he was subsequently re-arraigned before Justice Mojisola Dada.

After taking his plea, Ramirez’s counsel, Ademola Adefolaju, urged the court to allow his client to continue with the bail terms set by the previous judge.

When asked by Justice Dada if the defendant had complied with the bail terms, Adefolaju confirmed that his client had fully complied and had been going to the EFCC’s office as directed by the court.

Granting the request, Justice Dada said, “Having not breached the bail terms granted by my brother judge, the defendant is hereby allowed to continue with the terms.”

The matter was adjourned till October 7, 8, 9 and 10 for trial.

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