The Algiers Court of Appeal delivered its verdict on August 9 in the Future Gate case, a scam that has caused a lot of ink to flow. Farouk Boudjemline, alias Rifka, and Mohamed Aberkane, alias Stanley, were each sentenced to six months in prison and have therefore been released since they have served their sentence. Numidia Lezoul was acquitted.
In 2021, four Algerian influencers, Numidia Lezoul (6 million subscribers), Ines Abdelli (4.7 million), Rifka (4.2 million) and Stanley (1.7 million), used their audience on Instagram to promote the Future Gate agency… which turned out to be fictitious.
Fraud and association of criminals
Among the services offered by the said agency: support for Algerian students wishing to enroll in foreign universities, particularly in Russia, Turkey or Ukraine. Problem: once they arrive at their destination, the students discover that they are not supported and that they are not registered at the university… although they have paid the registration fees with Future Gate.
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After 75 complaints from students filed in December 2021, the National Security opens a investigation, in coordination with the judicial authorities. The four influencers are accused of being complicit in a vast fraud enterprise and of having lent themselves to false advertising.
In mid-January, the investigating judge places Numidia Lezoul, Rifka and Stanley, as well as their managers, under warrant of committal. The owner of the fictitious agency, Oussama Rezagui, was also imprisoned. Ines Abdelli, a minor, is placed under judicial supervision.
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The three major influencers were sentenced at first instance on June 6, 2022 to one year in prison and a fine of 100,000 dinars each for fraud and criminal association. Osama Rezagui was sentenced to seven years in prison. On appeal, he saw his sentence reduced to six ans.