Updated: February 27, 2021
A Nigerian man has been arraigned following what authorities there described as a “scam romance”, after he received an accumulated amount of $12000 from a love-seeking American woman.
The American woman, Thorman Benson, met Aretuemhen Frank who is sometimes known online as Williams Rodgers on a dating site.
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Things went fast, promises were made and money started rolling in, court documents by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission show.
But there was no love and the suspect was impersonating an American soldier to secure the trust of the victim.
Court documents said Aretuemhen Frank in December 2018 in Port Harcourt area of Rivers State, southern Nigeria, via his computer “fraudulently impersonated one Max Allen, a United States of America soldier” to swindle an American lover.
On Monday, the EFCC Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office arraigned Aretuemhen Frank before Justice M. L Abubakar of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on four-count charge bordering on “false pretences, impersonation, possession of scam documents and obtaining money by false pretence contrary to Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.
EFCC said Frank broke several laws, including section (3) (a) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the four- count charge preferred against him.
Following his plea, prosecuting counsel Samuel Chime, applied for a trial date to open his case, while the defense counsel P.O Nworah informed the court of an application for bail for his client.
Justice Abubakar granted the applicant bail in the sum of N1million and one surety in like sum. The surety must be a civil servant residing within the jurisdiction of the court. The judge also remanded him in EFCC custody pending the time he meets his bail condition. He adjourned the matter to July 3, 2019 for trial.
Frank’s ordeal began when Operatives of the EFCC, acting on intelligence, raided his hide out and arrested him. An iPhone 6s plus was recovered from him.
Investigation revealed that Frank was representing himself as an American with the United States Army, using Max Allen as his identity. With the fraudulent identity, he succeeded in defrauding an American lady, Thorman Benson the sum of $12,000 by promising to marry her.