Stockbroker bags six-year jail for N7.3m fraud
A Tinubu Magistrates’ Court on Thursday sentenced one Akeem Abass, a 52-year-old stock broker, to six-year imprisonment for confiscation of his client’s stock worth N7.3m.
Abass was arraigned in 2013 on eight counts bordering on fraud and theft.
The convict had pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the offences.
But the prosecutor, Inspector Ben Ekundayo, told the court that the convict committed the offence on several dates in June, September and October 2011.
He said that the convict had, on those dates, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at No. 3, Williams St., Ikoyi, Lagos, presented documents to Crown Capital Ltd in the name of his client (name withheld) without her authorisation to sell her stock.
Ekundayo said that the convict unlawfully and fraudulently obtained, 786.173 units of stock valued at N7.3m, which belonged to his client and stole the said amount.
He said that the offences contravened sections 285 (1), 320 (1), 368 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Section 285 carries three-year imprisonment, Section 320 stipulates 15 years, while Section 368 prescribes seven-year imprisonment for offenders.
But the defense counsel, Mr. Gabriel Abioje, pleaded with the court to have mercy on his client.
Abioje told the court that his client had returned the lands he bought at Lekki with part of the proceeds from the sales of the stock to the complainant.
He argued that his client has a family and that if the court convicts him according to the years of imprisonment on each of the charges, his family would suffer a great deal.
Magistrate Ade Adefulire, in his judgment, upheld the submission of the prosecution, saying that the burden of introducing evidence lies on the prosecution in the first instance but may shift to the defendant.
“Technically, prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt; on this basis, the defendant is hereby sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.
“You are sentenced to two years’ imprisonment on counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6; two years for count seven; and two years for count 8. The sentence should run concurrently.
“You will forfeit the land you bought with the stolen money and forfeit the balance of the proceeds from sales of the stock in cash or in stock equivalent,’’ he ruled. (Source NAN)