GHC11.2m fraud case: 8 suspects granted bail

BY KITNES - Dec 05, 2018 at 8:48am 100

Kwame Osei Yeboah, a staff of defunct uniBank, who was accused of illegally transferring GHC11.2 million from the accounts of a customer, has been granted GHC8 million bail with three sureties.

The bail term demands that one of the sureties should own properties valued at not less than GHC11.2 million.

Seven others arrested in connection with the case have also been granted bail by the Accra Circuit Court hearing the case.

GHC4m bail bond for 5 suspects

Five of the suspects have been granted bail to the tune of GHC4 million with three sureties, who should not earn not less than GHC1,000 a month, while one other suspect was granted bail of GHC2 million with three sureties, all not earning not less than GHC1,000.

Owners of microfinance companies on bail

The other accused persons are Joseph Nwolley Essien, a banker and the owner of Bivest Microfinance Limited; Richard Dugan and Joseph Omaboe, Directors of McCottley Money Lending Limited; Clement Owusu Manu and Michael Assibu, Directors of Co. Ma Consulting Limited and Jeffam Microfinance Company.

The GHC11.2 million was deposited in the above-mentioned microfinance companies, hence the police are investigating the owners.

Yeboah to deposit passport at court

The judge, Madam Priscilla Dapaah Mireku, ordered Yeboah to submit his passport to the registrar of the court.

Andrew Vortia, counsel for Yeboah, the main suspect in the case, pleaded with the court that his client poses no flight risk.

He added that contrary to claims that Yeboah tried absconding, his client was invited overseas for the graduation ceremony of his wife.

Yeboah was absent in court yesterday. However, his counsel explained that he was in lawful custody.

He is to reappear on January 3, 2019.

Presenting the facts to the court, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mawunyo Nanegbe said until August 2018, Yeboah was a Relationship Officer at the defunct uniBank Ghana Limited.

He stated that the accused was stationed at the Kokomlemle head office branch of the bank, and his duties were mainly managing customers’ accounts.

According to him, Rita Agyekumwaa Mpiani, now a former staff of Unicredit Savings and Loans Company, allegedly assisted Yeboah to forge the signature of a customer called Adwoa Konadu to illegally withdraw money from the victim’s accounts.

The prosecutor noted that in January 2016, Konadu, a businesswoman and a customer of Unicredit Savings and Loans Company, informed her Relationship Officer, Rita Agyekumwaa Mpiani, that she was no longer interested in keeping her investment with a non-bank financial institution.

DSP Nanegbe told the court that Rita Agyekumwaa Mpiani introduced Adwoa Konadu to Yeboah, a Relationship Officer of uniBank, a sister company of Unicredit.

Konadu agreed to move her investment to uniBank, and had an account opened for her by Yeboah.

According to the prosecutor, investigations revealed that when cheque books were issued by uniBank in the name of Konadu, Yeboah allegedly withheld one booklet, with serial number 000051-000100.

DSP Nanegbe stated that Yeboah mastered the signature of Konadu.

According to police investigations so far, Yeboah informed Konadu about the bank’s interest rate for fixed deposit, which was the only product of the bank available.

Konadu agreed and started moving her funds from other banks and other business resources into the fixed deposit account opened for her at uniBank.

The court heard that without the knowledge and consent of Konadu, Yeboah started forging the signature of Konadu in the cheque book he had kept.

Police investigations so far revealed that Rita Agyekumwaa Mpiani, in partnership with Yeboah, allegedly forged signatures to move funds from the victim’s account and invested the funds with five different microfinance companies of their choice.

GHC2 m invested in Bivest Microfinance Limited

The prosecutor said investigations established that in January 2016, Yeboah, together with Rita Agyekumwaa Mpiani, transferred GHC2 million from the account of Konadu and invested same with Bivest Microfinance Limited, owned by Joseph Nwolley Essien, for a period of six months at a rate of 27%.

GHC2m invested in McCottley Money Lending Limited

According to the prosecution, in May 2016, the two accused persons once again used forged cheques to move an additional GHC2 million from the account to McCottley Money Lending Limited, owned by Richard Dugan and Joseph Omaboe, for another six months at 25% interest rate.

GHC3 million invested in Vivantti Microfinance Limited

Similarly, in February 2017, the accused used forged cheques to move another GH?3 million from the account of Konadu to Vivantti Microfinance Limited, owned by Michael Amankwah, the prosecution told the court.

DSP Nanegbe explained that at this point, two other accused persons – Clement Owusu Manu and Michael Assibu – who were working with Vivantti Microfinance as marketing officers left to establish two new microfinance companies.

These are Co. Ma Consult Limited and Jeffam Microfinance Company.

GHC1m invested in Co. Ma Consult Limited

The court heard that in June 2017, Yeboah debited another GHC1 million from Konadu’s account to Co. Ma Consult Limited.

GHC3m invested in Jeffam Microfinance Company

Yeboah again transferred another GH?3 million from Konadu’s account to Jeffam Microfinance Company.

DSP Nanegbe stated that investigation revealed that all the funds from Konadu’s account were invested at an interest rate between of 25% and 32% biannually.

Forged investment advice on uniBank letterheads

Prosecution accused Yeboah of forging investment advice on uniBank letterheads for Konadu to deceive her into believing that her funds were with uniBank.

Prosecution alleged that Yeboah and Rita Agyekumwaa received between 0.5% and 6% finder’s fee on funds transferred from Konadu’s account to the microfinance companies.

DSP Nanegbe told the court that the investments rolled over biannually, and Yeboah hived off the difference in the interest rates to his own benefit.
According to prosecution, in October 2018, Konadu tried to make a withdrawal from her account, but had her cheque returned.

Upon a request to the bank, it was detected that a total of GH?8.5 million had been stolen from her account.

A report was made to the police, and during investigation, it was detected that a total of GHC11.2 million has since remained with Yeboah and the microfinance companies.

DSP Nanegbe said the suspects have all failed to disinvest the funds or pay interests on them, adding that investigation is still ongoing.

Yeboah was arrested at Kotoka International Airport on his way out of Ghana.

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