The Kaduna State High Court has convicted a man for impersonating an American soldier on Facebook to defraud people.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said in a statement that the convict, Jesse Kassah, pleaded guilty to the offense during his arraignment on Monday.
The commission alleged in the only charge preferred against the convict that he falsely represented himself as Devaun Smith Wayne, an American military officer, in Facebook between January to October 2023.
According to EFCC, he perpetrated the fraud from Kaduna, north-west Nigeria, using his false identity to defraud unsuspecting people.
The Convict, Jesse Kassah
The trial judge, Darius Khobo, sentenced Mr Kassah, who pleaded guilty to the offence, to two years in prison but with the option of paying a fine of N150,000.
Read the full EFCC statement below:
EFCC PRESS RELEASE
Fake US soldier receives two years in prison in Kaduna
The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, November 20, 2023, obtained the conviction and sentence of Jesse Joshua Kassah, (alias Devaun Smith Wayne) to two years imprisonment.
He was jailed by Justice Darius Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court, Kaduna, after pleading guilty to a charge close to impersonation while being prosecuted by the EFCC Kaduna Zonal Command.
The sole charge reads: “That you, Jesse Joshua Kassah (aka Devaun Smith Wayne), (M) between January and October 2023 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, committed an offence, namely; he falsely introduced himself as Devaun Smith Wayne; a US military personnel and a ticket seller on Facebook (an online social networking application) to one Caitlin Morgan and whose simulation he knew to be false and therefore committed a contrary offense and punishable under Section 142 (1) of the Kaduna State Penal Code Act. , 2017”.
He pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
In view of his statement, prosecutor M. Arumemi urged the court to convict and sentence the accused accordingly.
Justice Khobo subsequently convicted and sentenced Kassah to two years imprisonment with the option of a fine of N150,000.00 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira).
The judge also ordered the confiscation of the Samsung Galaxy A02 phone that was used to commit the crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Kassah’s journey to the Correctional Center began when he was arrested in the Karji area of Kaduna for internet-related offences. Investigations showed that he posed as an American soldier, Devaun Smith Wayne, and used his identity to defraud his victims in the process.
Head, Media and Advertising
November 20, 2023.