Nigerian Sentenced to Five Years Related to Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Scheme

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Nigerian Sentenced to Five Years Related to Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Scheme

Last week, the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria sentenced Benjamin Ikaa to five years in prison for his involvement in a fraudulent cryptocurrency investment platform called McHenry Capital. The case was prosecuted by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to the EFCC, Ikaa and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained over $1.6 million from victims in South Africa, Norway, the UK and Barbados. The McHarvery investment platform promised significant returns related to cryptocurrency investments. The website claimed to have “assisted trading, bitcoin Mining and real estate systems with algorithms in the financial markets of Forex, Network Marketing, Bitcoin Mining, Real Estate and Interactive Educational Programs” [sic]. The company also boasted it is “a company whose heart beats for its customers and employees” and that all withdrawals “are processed instantly” with the “maximum withdraw time” of 48 hours. However, when victims requested the return of their funds they were met with delays, denials and silence.

McHarvery Capital received investments from VASPs worldwide, then cashed out investments directly to a large, global VASP

"The EFCC continues to work with our public and private sector partners to combat illicit use of cryptocurrency” said EFCC Detective Ogunjobi Olalekan from the Cybercrimes Investigation Unit/Special Duty. “EFCC embraces blockchain technology like TRM Labs to stay ahead of bad actors that take advantage of victims.”

Multiple victims made reports to law enforcement, regulators, and, the internet's largest database of cryptocurrency related complaints.   

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