Ponzi scheme operator to appear in Lagos court for fraudulent charges

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The police on Monday arraigned a Ponzi scheme operator, Michael Diongoli, before a Federal High Court in Lagos State for allegedly defrauding a retired Army colonel, two professors, a co-operative society, among others of the sum of N1, 286, 580, 656.

Diongoli is facing eight counts of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretences and fraud.

The defendant was arraigned alongside his two firms, UK-Don Group and UK-Dion Investment Limited before Justice Lewis-Allagoa.

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He was accused of defrauding his victims, under false pretence of multiple returns on investment within the period of six months to one year.

The prosecutor, Mrs Susan Ezema, a Chief Superintendent of Police, told the court that the defendants allegedly committed the offences betweeen December 2021 and April 2022.

She said the offences contravened sections 8 (a), 1(1) (a) of the Advance
Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related to Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

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However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Subsequent to his plea, his counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN), informed the court that his client’s bail application had been filed and served on the prosecutor.

In her response to the application, Ezema told the court that although the defence lawyer informed her that the bail summons had been served on the prosecution, she had yet to receive it.

She therefore urged the court for a short adjournment so she could get a copy of the bail summons and see if she could file a counter.

Consequently, Justice Allagoa ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Force CID’s custody and adjourned the matter till Tuesday for hearing of the bail application.