The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned an American businessman, Marco Ramirez, along with his companies; Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now LLC, for obtaining the sum of $2.3 million under false pretence.
According to a statement by the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the American National was arraigned before Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja on Monday.
The complainants, Prince Ejikeme Mgbemena and Frank Egbon, alleged that the suspect promised to invest the money obtained from them under the Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Based Fifth Preference (EB-5).
They further added that the suspect also promised to provide an American Green Card for members of their families below 18 years.
The charges leveled against the suspect reads: “That you Marco Anthonio Ramirez, being the Manager of Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA NOW LLC and you EAGLE Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now LLC on or about May 21, 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud obtained through an account titled Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP domiciled at Wells Fargo Bank USA the sum of $55,000 from one Ejikeme Mgbemena under the pretext of investing for him under the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) Regional Center Program with pretence you knew was false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.’’
The accused foreign National pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Following the plea, Samuel A. Ugwuegbulam, the prosecution counsel sought for the court to set a trial date.
The presiding judge, Justice Affen thereafter adjourned the case till May 21, 2016 for hearing of bail application. He also ordered that the accused be remanded in the EFCC custody pending the bail application hearing.