An American citizen has been remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prison for allegedly defrauding three Nigerians.

Marco Ramirez is accused of duping the Nigerians of $565,000 in a green card and investment scam.

Ramirez was said to have fraudulently received $545,000 from Godson Echejue to invest in his company, Eagleford Instalodge Group, in order to procure an American green card (residence permit) for him (Echejue).

He also allegedly received $10,000 from Abubakar Umar through a non-existent investment programme in the US, which was billed to make Umar eligible to obtain an American passport.

Ramirez also illegally received $10,000 from one Olukayode Sodimu under the pretext that the funds were facilitation fees with the American immigration services for an American green card.

Ramirez was on Thursday arraigned before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja.

He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ramirez was remanded following his not-guilty plea to a 16-count charge of obtaining money under false pretenses.

The EFCC prosecutor, O. Aigboje, alleged that the accused, who is also a managing director of three companies – USA Now Plc., Eagleford Instalodge Group and USA Now Capital Group – committed the offences between February 2013 and August 2013.

After Ramirez took his plea, Aigboje requested that he should be taken from the custody of EFCC to prison custody.

The trial judge, Justice Josephine Oyefeso, then ordered that Ramirez be remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prison.

“The proper place for remand is prison custody and I so order,” she held.

After she ordered that the accused be remanded in prison Justice Oyefeso adjourned the hearing until July 3 for hearing of the defendant’s bail application.