A woman has been arrested for refusing to return money that was mistakenly wired to her by bank account Kelyn Spadoni from Louisiana immediately used the cash to buy expensive things for herself and ignored calls, texts and emails pleading with her to return the cash.
According to the company suing her, she had signed a contract that demanded clients to return any overpayment funds from the firm.
A woman from Lousiana identified as Kelyn Spadoni has found herself in trouble after refusing to return $1.2 million (N456,600,000) that was mistakenly wired to her bank account.
The incident was reported to have happened in February, and the lady was also said to have ignored calls, texts and emails from the bank.
Spadoni, a 911 dispatcher, quickly bought a house and a car the same day she saw the money reflecting in her bank account.
Now, the lady’s brokerage firm, Charles Schwab, is demanding that she returns the full amount because the money was mistakenly sent to her due to a software glitch.
Initially, the company was meant to send Spadoni $82 (N31,201), but the bank ended up wiring $1.2 million (N456,600,000) to her account due to a software issue.
The young lady has been taken to court by Charles Schwab and charged for refusing to return money to the company.
They have also argued that she had from the onset signed a contract that said clients should return overpayment funds to the company. The spokesperson for the Jefferson Parish sheriff’s office said:
A legal practitioner, Mr Ifeanyi Mamah, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) over alleged fraud by an online Ponzi scheme known as MyBONUS.
Mamah, who also petitioned the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) said on Thursday in Abuja that MyBONUS allegedly swindled its victims up to the tune of over two billion naira.
He said that MyBONUS floated by some group of persons allegedly committed the fraud in connivance with a microfinance bank, `Kuda Microfinance Bank Ltd’ with headquarters in Lagos.
“We are begging the EFCC, NFIU and AGF for urgent intervention in recovering the money for the victims and forestalling future occurrences,’’ Mamah said.
He alleged that leaders of the syndicate operated myBONUS2U technology, popularly known as myBONUS, “whose website is mybonus2u.com’’.
He said that the platform was a fraudulent cashback one which, by their representations, ensured members received cashback while shopping online from over 700 commerce stores globally.
According to him, this notwithstanding, investors convinced to put in their monies given assurance of certain percentage interest and withdrawal of capital on demand.
“The unsuspecting victims were promised to receive capital back on demand, in addition to other privileges,” he said.
He said that it was discovered that the syndicate whose names and accounts were used for the scheme with the Kuda Microfinance Bank Ltd (RC796975) turned out to be a fraud.
He said that since January 2021 the investment platform, website, and software application, discovered to have been intentionally floated to allegedly defraud unsuspecting victims by the group, had been disabled.
“The operators of the scheme completely disconnected from the victims and totally lost communications.
“Consequently, victims’ capitals, amongst others running into billions of Naira, paid into the individuals accounts with Kuda Microfinance Bank Ltd and provided by myBONUS, cannot be accessed any longer.
“The website’s server DNS can no longer be found and MyBONUS application downloaded from Google play store is no more functional since January 2021,’’ Mamah said.
He, therefore, called on the relevant authorities to use the relevant laws in bringing the alleged fraudsters to book and weed the country’s cyberspace of crimes.
However, Kuda Microfinance Bank Ltd via its official email address email@example.com, said that the allegations were false.
One of its Customer Service Officers, Ms Jennifer Obiakor said: “being a bank, Kuda can never help fraudsters. We do not and will never support anyone who tries to swindle Nigerians.”
“We have locked all accounts involved in this and we are working closely with regulators to prevent the activities of potential scammers,’’ Obiakor told NAN.
In May 2018, a 28-year-old medical doctor was arrested for using a fake bank alert to buy a Porsche car worth N28 million.
The Doctor introduced himself as Michael Thompson Williams and while speaking with journalists after his arrest, alleged that most Nigerian banks were unsafe and could be easily hacked.
He was arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, Lagos State Police Command.
He was arrested under the watch of the former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi.
It will be recalled that when Imohimi presented the suspect to journalists, the CP had allowed him to cover his face with a cloth, citing fundamental human rights of the suspect.
It was believed that the Doctor was charged to court after the parade.
In 2020, however, the doctor has once again been arrested for fraud.
His present arrest has raised a lot of questions, among them being whether he was ever charged to court and if he was, what transpired in the court, leading to him already out in the streets and carrying on with his former crimes.
His latest arrest was by policemen attached to Area J Police Command and after investigating, the policemen felt that his crime was more under the jurisdiction of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and had promptly handed him over.
Today, his name has changed from Doctor Michael Thompson Williams to Williams Michael Ogwezi, aka Dr. Williams.
According to the EFCC, the suspect had been parading himself as a staff of the Commission in order to defraud his unsuspecting victims.
The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said: “The suspect, a member of a syndicate that specialises in forging identity cards of the Commission as well as those of other law enforcement agencies, was arrested in Lagos, following a report received by the Commission from the Nigeria Police Area Command, Ajah, Lagos.
“Investigation revealed that the suspect had defrauded one of his victims, a lady, of jewellery valued at N10,000,000.00 before his arrest.
“The suspect, in his statement to the Commission, confessed to have been involved in the alleged crime.
“Items recovered from him at the point of arrest include an identity card with inscription of EFCC, EFCC face masks, three laptops, three mobile phones and two vehicles, Lexus and Hyundai Genesis.
“He’ll soon be charged to court.”
Speaking with journalists in 2018, Williams claimed to have worked with frontline hospitals in Lagos and used to hack into customers’ accounts with banks and financial institutions.
He also monitored private email messages of prominent Nigerians.
According to him, through his hacking expertise, he had been able to acquire a property in Canada and boasted that he could buy goods worth N40 million with credit cards and make false payments in tranches to unsuspecting victims.
He was arrested on March 23, 2018 after a complainant, Abidogun Adewale, a car dealer, lodged a complaint with the police.
Adewale had complained that a syndicate bought exotic cars worth N28 million, paid into his bank account, but on visiting his banker, he discovered he had actually received a fake bank alert, meaning the money was never paid.
Imohimi had also explained: “The suspect is a member of a syndicate that goes to car shops, buys a car, configures a computer programme that would send a fake payment alert to the seller and by so doing, fraudulently obtains the car.
“The suspect thereafter requested for the seller’s bank account number and made it look like he had paid him via the fake alert to his phone using HTTP tunnel.com.
“Thereafter, the suspect drove the car away, unknown to the seller that he had been scammed.
“A police manhunt was launched on the fleeing suspect by the command, dispatching detectives of the FSARS, led by CSP Sanusi Mohammed.
“This led to the arrest of the suspect in Lekki, Lagos. Upon his arrest, he led detectives to Asaba, Delta State, where the stolen Porsche car was recovered.
“He also led detectives to Owerri, Imo State where two Camry cars he stole in a similar fashion were recovered.”
Williams in enlightening journalists on his modus operandi proved that he had a good mastery of cyber space and thus created a credit card through “cyber ghost 12”.
He further said: “When the credit card matures, it is then funded through a hacked Swiss account.
“Any transaction anybody is doing through Swiss account is manipulated and funds wired to his contrived credit card.
“This is possible with the aid of cyber ghost 12 HTTP/tunnel.azinytv4/vpn, virtual private network.
Through the credit card, the suspect could buy any software he needs to work and protect his job so that he cannot be traced.”
Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) is being investigated by the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) over alleged fraudulent transactions of $667,000 involving GTBank. It was gathered that 35 GTBank accounts were used to commit the fraud by former GTBank staff.
GTBank and two others, Albert Austine Ugochukwu and a limited liability company, Tasmara Integrated Services Limited, were dragged to the Federal Court in a suit marked FHC/L/CS/586/2020 and presided over by Justice Ayokunle Faji. The case involves money laundering and Advance Fee Fraud.
The Fund Is Proceed Of Fraud Involving GTBank Former Staff
Investigation into the fund began after GTBank Headquarters’ General Manager, Segun Fadahunsi and Senior Manager, Lanre Kasim, petitioned the police to disclose that former staff of the bank, Albert Austin Ugochukwu, fraudulently acquired $667,000 with the 35 GTBank accounts.
Ugochukwu had opened the accounts through a company name, Tasmara Integrated Services Limited – which was registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on November 27, 2019 – and used it to launder money. The petition was dated March 26, 2020, four mouths after the company was registered with CAC. According to the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police, during investigation, it realised the said fund was a proceed of fraud.
Police Seek Restriction On The Fradulent GTBank Accounts
In order to prevent the fund from being transfered, the Police seeked the courts to restain GTBank from debiting or allowing withdrawals from the 35 accounts. The Police want the restriction placed on the accounts as investigation is still ongoing. The police plans to interrogate the account officers of the 35 accounts and have requested the court to order them to present themselves for interrogation, and to also provide accounts document starting from January 1, 2018 till date.
Other requested documents include names and addresses of signatories to the accounts; photocopies on the mandate cards; Bank Verification Number linked to the accounts and certificate of computer printout in compliance with Section 84 of the Evidence Act. The police said the documents are crucial to unravel the fraudlent activities involving the 35 accounts.
The court order would prevent GTBank – which is headed by Segun Agbaje – from lifting the restriction and allow perpetrators to withdraw the fund amidst investigation, as it could affect the investigation process.
Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) has been involved in series of fraudulent transfers from customers’ accounts. Customers accounts are being debited illegally, with the money transfered to bet companies. There are assertions that GTBank is reportedly using customers money for betting without authorisation, as customers money are being debited for betting only in recent times.
Series Of Fraudulent Debits In Customers’ GTBank Accounts
One of the affected customer, Funke Adeoye said GTBank transferred NGN200,000 from her account balance to an account belonging to Bet9ja, but gave her flimsy reasons for the deduction, and another GTBank customer, Abimbola Omolade, said NGN45,900 was transfered from his GTBank account to a Sporty bet account.
While Hannah Obeahon, an Agricultural economist, said her sister’s GTBank’s account was illegally debited, with about NGN500,000 transferred to Sporty bet account. According to Obeahon, the amount was deducted by batches, NGN10,000, to NGN50,000 until about NGN500,000 was illegally transferred to the Sporty account.
She stated that her sister woke to the debit, “My sister woke up to debit alerts from gtbank amounting to 500k and she didn’t authorized any of the transactions, all the monies were sent to a sporty account…” She added, “How is this possible!!! It appears our money isn’t even safe in any bank account.” Obeahon said.
Meanwhile, for Adeoye, before the fraudulent transfer was done on her GTBank account, she had NGN700,000 in her account. She disclosed that she frequently uses Abule Tailor GTBank branch, in Abule Egba Area of Lagos State, and no one has access to her account PIN or Bank Verification Number (BVN) prior to the illegal transaction.
Adeoye explained that on Saturday, August 15, 2020, she received a debit alert on her GTBank account by 12:30 am, with NGN100,000 deducted twice from the account, and transferred to KC GAMING NETWORKS LTD, a bet9ja account located at 9 Funsho Williams Avenue Ojuelegba Lagos, Nigeria. Note that there was a UEFA Champions League match on this day between Manchester City and Lyon.
On the same day, Adeoye’s GTBank account was debited to purchase NGN5,000 voice airtime six times without her authorisation – totalling the illegal deductions to NGN230,000. On her visit to the bank on Monday to complain about the use of her money to play Bet9ja and purchase airtime, she was told to come back 48hours after, since then, Adeoye’s effort to get her money and explanation for the illegal usage of her account for betting have yielded no result.
GTBank Give Customers Flimsy Excuse For Illegal Deduction
The customers who had a combined NGN770,000 deducted from their GTBank accounts were blamed for the illegal transfer. GTBank placed the fraudulent transfer on the customer, stating that they were careless of their PIN and BVN numbers. GTBank failed to take the blame for the loss of money in customers’ accounts despite the customers insisting that their PIN and BVN wasn’t disclosed to anyone.
According to Omolade, he said, “I was also a victim of this same thing also some weeks back, gtbank has only told me I’m careless with my ATM even when am sure I kept it well. A total of 45,900.” Also, Obeahon said GTBank didn’t give them any valid answer to how the money was transferred during the enquiry.
Adeoye said, “I was advised to inform the police about what happened to my money and I went to Ikeja police command to lodge a complaint, hoping to receive a positive response from the bank but nothing has been done till now. I’m strongly of the opinion that they intentionally defrauded me and use my money to play bet9ja over the weekend.”
“As a reputable organization, they can’t swing into action immediately to get who defrauded their customer? You forwarded my money to KC Gaming Network Ltd and you can’t do anything about it, even the numbers that were used to purchase five thousand naira recharge card are showing on your system.
“Even inside the bank a customer who has had such similar experience advised me to take legal action because if I don’t, GTBank will not look into the matter and they will not refund the money, he told me the bank is now becoming fraudulent nowadays,” Adeoye said.
GTBank, Others’ Failure To Take Blame For Bank Fraud
Note that that number of frauds done on GTBank accounts in 2019 surpassed the 10,673 recorded in 2018. Last year, 15,461 fraud cases were experienced by GTBank. In 2018, the amount involved was over NGN821.4 million, in 2019, the amount involved skyrocketed to NGN1.5 billion.
In Nigeria, most banks blame customers when an illegal transaction or transfer is made with their accounts. Nigerian banks want customers to believe banks’ internal security is tight, so when any illegal activity is carried out on a customer’s account, it’s due to the customer’s carelessness.
But in a recent report by AllNews, it was disclosed that a hacker obtained about 2000 bank information belonging to Access Bank customers. The hacker posted a video stating that he hacked Access Bank’s system because Access Bank has a weak security system. The hacker was able to obtain about 2000 bank details consisting of BVN, Account number and Phone number. He said with the details with him, he could debit accounts of Access Bank customers.
Although Access Bank denied the claim of the hacker, fraudsters have been contacting the bank’s customers prior to the video, in a bid to defraud the customers. Tech entrepreneur, Victor Asemota, had also criticised Access Bank, stating that hackers are now using Access Bànk to hack other banks.
FCMB had also debited its customers’ accounts and transferred NGN573 million to the church account belonging to Pastor Emmanuel Omale – Pastor of former anti-graft, EFCC, acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu – in 2016, only to claim the transfer was a mistake four years after a Presidential criminal panel traced the money. Part of the money transferred to Omale’s church account was allegedly used by the clergyman to buy properties for Magu.
Note that email enquiry sent to GTBank wasn’t responded to as at the time of filing this report.