Undergraduate gets 18-month jail term for fraud

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Opaleye defrauded an American of N1.4m after proposing marriage to her

Justice Aishat Opesanwo of a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja, on Thursday, sentenced one Michael Opaleye to 18 months in prison for defrauding an American lady, Kathy Lunsford, of $9,200 (N1.4 million).

In her judgment, Opesanwo said the date of imprisonment would commence from March 15, the date the convict was first arraigned.

Opaleye, a student of Computer Science at the University of Lagos, had entered into a plea bargain deal with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after he was arraigned on a three-count charge of obtaining by false pretences and forgery.

The judge also ordered the convict to pay N100,000 monthly to the victim, through the EFCC, after his release from prison till he offsets the full sum.

“The convict is also to forfeit the electronic appliances and other items purchased with the proceeds of the crime, which were recovered from his house during the investigation of the EFCC,” she ordered.

EFCC counsel, Anselem Ozioko, said Opaleye committed the offences between 2008 and 2011.

Ozioko said that the convict had swindled Lunsford by making a bogus marriage proposal to her through e-mail.

He said Opaleye had convinced her to send him the money as part of his travelling expenses from the United Kingdom to the U.S.

According to him, the convict also forged a Nigeria Driver?s Licence No. WWD24174AAJ, which he claimed was issued by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).

Ozioko said the convict, who also goes by the alias Bentley Lyon, forged a bank draft which he claimed was issued by the Bank of Ireland, Dublin.

He said Opaleye’s offences had contravened sections 419 and 467 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State 2003.

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