Ponzi: Famzhi Boss Jailed Five Years for Investment Scam

In a major boost to the enforcement activities of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Managing Director of Famzhi Interbiz Ltd, Mariam Suleiman has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment without the option of a fine for defrauding investors of over N2 billion.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of Federal High Court, Abuja, found Suleiman and Famzhi Interbiz Ltd guilty on counts one and two of the charges brought against them by the Federal Government. The judge also declared that all properties belonging to the two defendants be sold and the proceeds thereof used to compensate victims of the crime.

The SEC had in a Public Notice released three years ago disclaimed the activities of Famzhi Interbiz Limited, warning that neither the entity nor the ‘products’ they offered were registered or regulated by the Commission. The SEC further stated that despite being unregistered, the company had proceeded to unlawfully solicit funds from the investing public with the promise of guaranteed “Returns on Investment” in clear violation of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) 2007.

Consequently, the Commission referred the company to the appropriate law enforcement agency for criminal investigation and prosecution in respect of the violation of the provisions of the ISA 2007 and other relevant extant laws.