Court jails Lagos cryptocurrency trader for stealing

A cryptocurrency trader, Shola Henry, has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by the Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos State, for stealing N18,460,000 belonging to a businessman.

Henry and his company, Henry Enterprise Concept, were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission with an amended seven counts bordering on obtaining money under false pretences and stealing.

The court discharged the convict from counts one to six, but convicted him on count seven, bordering on stealing by fraudulent conversion.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo held that the business of cryptocurrency operated in an unpredictable environment and the defence proved beyond reasonable doubt that the convict paid his clients while the market was good.

“However, he is liable to refund the money deposited to him for the cryptocurrency business by the depositor whether or not he is making money from the transaction,” she added.

The defence counsel, Adeola Onikosi, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.

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Onikosi said, “The convict is a first-time offender and has kids who depend on him.”

However, the prosecuting counsel, Ahmed Yerima, said the convict was a second-time offender.

Yerima prayed the court to order the convict to make restitution to the nominal complainant and forfeit items recovered from him.

Justice Taiwo sentenced Henry to two years’ imprisonment with a fine option of N2m.

She ordered the convict and his company, Henry Enterprise Concept, to make restitution to the nominal complainant in the sum of N18,460,000 within the next six months.

Also, the convict forfeited his iPhone to the Federal Government.

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