The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned Sunday Adepoju, the owner of De Rock Club, for allegedly defrauding American citizens.
The anti-graft agency arrested Adepoju alongside 21 other persons in September 2022 over alleged internet-related fraud.
In a statement on Wednesday, Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s spokesperson, said the suspect was arraigned before Uche Agomoh of the federal high court in Ibadan, Oyo.
The Ibadan-based club owner was arraigned on charges bordering on cybercrime and obtaining COVID–19 and unemployment benefits from the US government.
The 36-year-old graduate of Industrial Chemistry of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) was said to have swindled American citizens to the tune of N31,821,000.
“Investigations revealed that Adepoju, 36, who claimed to be a graduate of Industrial Chemistry of the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State had, during the COVID–19 pandemic swindled American government and unsuspecting American citizens thousands of dollars,” the statement reads in part.
“He allegedly stole identities of the American citizens eligible for the tax refund programme across the U.S. and filed the stolen information to claim the benefits.
“Investigations also showed that Adepoju through the US Small Business Administration (SBA), a programme established in New York City during COVID-19 to help Americans build resilient businesses, stole personal identifying information of American citizens which he deployed in filing false benefits claims.”
Adepoju, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were read to him.
Olaniyi George, the defense counsel, then prayed the court to grant his client bail application pending the hearing and determination of the case.
However, Mabas Mabur, the prosecution counsel, prayed the court to remand the suspect pending the determination of the case.
In his ruling, the judge adjourned the matter to April 18.
He ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Agodi correctional facility.
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