Ex-convict bags 12 years’ sentence for defrauding U.S. university of $1.4m

Jail court

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday sentenced a U.S. ex-convict, Kolawole Erinle to 12 years in jail for defrauding Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) of 1.4 million dollars.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Rahman Oshodi sentenced Erinle to five years jail term on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, retention of proceeds of criminal conduct and obtaining money under false pretence.

Oshodi held that the defendant and his company were guilty as charged and that the prosecution had effectively proved the case against them beyond every reasonable doubt.

He said: “The prosecution argued that Erinle spoofed the email address of the financial controller of J.E. Dunn, by faking the domain name of jedunn.com to jedunn.org.

“An act which was premeditated so that when KCUMB was about to pay J.E. Dunn, you provided Bank of America details in the name of E. Dada Autos.

“And after the wire transfer of 1.4 million dollars into it, in March 2019, you caused the money to be transferred in tranches of 850,000 dollars and 460,000 dollars into the second convict’s account, which you also control.

“The evidence shows that you, Erinle, transferred the proceeds of your crime to your nominees, including your mother and your wife, and also acquired vehicles and other properties as captured in exhibit P to P1.”

The judge further said he had considered the prosecution’s submissions that the convict had a prior conviction for bank fraud in the US but had not changed for better.

“I have considered the fact that notwithstanding your prison term, which you have confirmed to me as sentencing for 23 months, you have not changed from committing offences.

“I have considered the preceding as aggravating factors, though you said you are sorry but I do not believe that you are genuinely remorseful.

“I hereby find you guilty of count two and three and you are hereby sentenced to five years for count two and 15 years for count three,” he said.

Oshodi ordered that the sentencing should run concurrently from Feb.10 when he was remanded by the court.

NAN also reports that the convict’s company, Rinde-Remdex Nigeria Ltd., was fined N50 million and also ordered to be wound up by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), with the proceeds forfeited to the Federal Government.

The convict was also ordered to make restitution to the victim, with all properties and vehicles recovered from them by the EFCC, which were to be sold and applied as restitution to the victim, through the FBI.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Temitope Banjo, called four witnesses through whom several documentary evidences were presented, while the convict testified as a sole witness in the case.

According to the prosecution, the offences contravened Section 8, (a) (b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006. (NAN)