An Accra Circuit Court presided over by Evelyn Asamoah, has sentenced a Reverend Minister, Edward Buabeng, to a total of 519 years imprisonment.
Rev Buabeng was handed down the sentence Tuesday, after having been found guilty on 173 counts of conspiracy to commit a crime and defrauding by pretenses.
The convict would serve eighty years on each count but the sentences are to run concurrently.
Mrs. Asamoah acquitted and discharged the second accused, Wilfred Brown, aged 58, and an Accountant, on all of the charges.
The third accused person, Aubrey des-Bordes Mends, absconded just after her plea was taken and granting of bail at the commencement of the case. A bench warrant was issued by the court for Aubrey’s arrest.
Nonetheless, the case came to its conclusion after a three-year trial, in which 12 witnesses from over 100 defrauded victims were called to testify against the accused persons.
Chief Inspector Benson Benneh, prosecuting the case, informed the court that the complainants in the case were a husband and a wife, John Osei-Kumi and Brenda Adolphine Appiah. He said the complainants work as a marketer and a banker respectively.
The court was also told that the accused persons and the complainants all live at Dansoman Community in Accra. He said John and Brenda invested an amount of US$7, 000.00 and Brenda US$6,000.00 into the convict’s company, Career Link Marketers Company Limited, with the expected interest of 40 percent (40%) each for three months.
The complainants invested somewhere in July 2018 but when the period elapsed in October of the same year for the convict to pay their principal and interest, he failed.
Meanwhile, several attempts made by the complainants to compel the convict to pay their money were unsuccessful, and by which the latter went into hiding.
The complainants, therefore, complained with the Dansoman Police Station. The police subsequently received over 100 complaints from others who have been defrauded by Rev. Buabeng.
The police investigation had it that about GH¢1,193,136 and US$185,408.00 were invested into the convict’s company by the complainants. The convict was arrested and detained for investigation by the police.
According to the prosecuting officer, Rev. Buabeng admitted the offense in his caution statement to the police but promised to refund the monies to the complainants, since the company has enough resources to do so.
C/Insp Benneh added that the convict did not honor his promise. Although police checks established that Career Link Marketers Company Limited is registered with the Registrar General Department, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) had not issued it with a license to operate.
He added that during the investigation, the convict paid a sum of GH¢115,000.00, and the same was disbursed to the complainants.