N20 Billion Lost: Chinmark Group Battles Clients Over Alleged Scam
The Lagos State High Court in Osborne Ikoyi has declared a Mareva injunction on the funds and assets of Chinmark Group and three others over an N20 billion scam allegation. The freezing order, which was given by Justice Kudirat Jose, is binding on all commercial banks that facilitated transactions with the defendants.
The decision was made following the lawsuit filed by four claimants on behalf of themselves and 76 other investors after the failed payment of a return on investment (ROI) of N246,610,000 as of December 30, 2021.
Some of the banks affected are Guaranty Trust Bank Limited, Access Bank Plc, Citi Bank Nigeria Limited, Ecobank Nigeria Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank Of Nigeria Limited, First City Monument Bank Plc, Globus Bank, Heritage Bank Limited, Jaiz Bank.
Others are Keystone Bank Limited, Polaris Bank Limited, Providus Bank, Stanbic Ibtc Bank Nigeria Limited, Standard Chartered Bank, Sterling Bank Plc, Union Bank Of Nigeria Plc, United Bank For Africa Plc, Unity Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.
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The court verdict
Based on the claimants’ ex-parte application, Justice Jose ordered banks to freeze the over N240 million ROI Chinmark Group owes its investors. The presiding judge also ordered the banks holding the defendants’ funds or assets to file an affidavit revealing the account statement and balance of Chinmark Group and the three defendants.
The court also gave the claimants permission to use substituted service, which entails pasting the documents on the third and fourth defendants’ last known addresses in Ikeja, Lagos. This includes the Originating Summons, other pertinent documents with accompanying exhibits, the Motion on Notice for Mareva injunction, and all other processes that may be issued in the suit.
However, Justice Jose declined to issue a court order restricting the defendants from disposing of any property the claimants might track down and find while the lawsuit was pending.
What to know about the Chinmark scam
The Chinmark Group scam was made public in March 2022 when the investors called out the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chinedu Ijiomah Marksman, for failing to pay investors their investment returns.
This was after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in December 2021 declared Chinmark and its investment arm, FinAfrica, illegal. Despite the warning, thousands of people fell prey to the Ponzi scheme Marksman and his associates organised.
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