An American businessman, Marco Anthonio Ramirez has been arraigned alongside his companies –Eagle Ford Instalodge Group LP and USA Now LLC by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC at the FCT High Court in Abuja on an eight-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretense to the tune of $2.3 million (about N457 million).
The complainants, Ejikeme Ubanagum Mgbemena and Frank Ifaluyi Egbon alleged that Ramirez assured them that he would invest the money under the Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Based Fifth Preference (EB-5), and also promised to provide American Green card for members of their family below 18 years.
Ramirez pleaded not guilty to one of the counts which read:
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 21st of May, 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 Well Fargo Bank USA, the sum of Fifty- Five Thousand United States Dollars ($55,000) from one Ejikeme Ugbanagum Mgbemena under the false pretense of investing for him under the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) Regional Center Program with pretense 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.
Justice Peter O. Affen then adjourned the case to May 21st 2016, and ordered that the accused be remanded in EFCC custody.