An American has allegedly defrauded two Nigerians of $368,698 under the pretext of procuring them green cards.
This was revealed by Ayotunde Solademi, a staff of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), on Thursday before the Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos State.
According to EFCC, the two Nigerians defrauded are Mr Gabriel Ogie and Mr Oludare Talabi.
According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigerians invested the money in the defendant’s company which he said qualifies their eligibility for issuance of U.S green cards:
What happened in court
The defendant, Marco Ramirez, was charged to court by the (EFCC) on an amended nine counts charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretences.
Mr Ramirez is being prosecuted alongside his companies, USA NOW LLC, Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now Energy Capital Group LP.
The FBI agent told the court that in 2016, the Office of the Legal Attache in the U.S. Consulate received a letter from EFCC seeking FBI’s assistance to get more details on EB-5 Investor Immigrant Programme.
- He said “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.”
- Speaking during cross-examination he said, “Sometime in 2018, the FBI wanted the EFCC to return the defendant to the U.S. to face charges against him.”
After listening to Mr Solademi who is the last prosecution witness, the presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case until June 24, for the American to open his case.
The EFCC closed its case after its last witness was cross-examined.