How American Businessman Defrauded Nigerians $368,698 – EFCC Witness Tells Court
A prosecution witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ayotunde Solademi has explained before an Ikeja Special Offences Court about a $368,698.24 fraud allegedly perpetrated by Marco Antonio Ramirez, an American businessman against a number of Nigerians.
Solademi, who is a staff of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), told the court that an FBI investigation showed that the defendant was assuring people of gaining permanent residence in the United States through the Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference (EB-5).
NAN reports that “EFCC alleges that the defendant defrauded Mr Gabriel Ogie and Mr Oludare Talabi of same amount on the pretext that the sum was their investment in his company, which would qualify them to be eligible for issuance of U.S. Green Cards.”
The witness added that the assurance was mere fabrication.
“The request was also to know if USA Now LLC has the right to issue out the EB-5 Investor Immigrant visa to Nigerians. The FBI investigated the matter relating to questions that were asked.
“We responded to the EFCC based on our search and people interviewed.
“The main crux of our finding is that Nigeria is not a participant of the EB-5 Investor Immigrant Programme.
“If Nigeria is not a participant, then no company has been given the licence or right to give out the visa to them,” Solademi said.
Having closed its case on Thursday, the court adjourned till June 24 for the defendant to open his defense.
Ramirez was arraigned in 2016 on an amended nine-count charge bordering on fraud of which he pleaded not guilty.
His companies (USA NOW LLC, Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP, and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP) are also joined in the suit.