The woes of embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah, aka NAM1, appear to be worsening as the state has levelled some more fresh charges against him in his criminal trial.
When the case was called yesterday, state prosecutors said they have amended the charge sheet and preferred six general charges against NAM1 and his accomplices with 61 counts involved.
The charges include abetment, defrauding by false pretenses, money laundering, carrying out deposit taking without license, selling minerals without license, as well as unlawful deposit taking.
In spite of a total of 61 counts arising out of the charges preferred against him and his accomplices, the money involved in MAN1’s alleged Ponzy scheme has dropped drastically from GH¢1.65 billion to a little over GH¢1 million – GH¢1,187,500.
NAM1, together with his wife, Rose Tetteh; his sister, Benedicta Appiah, as well as two of his companies – Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Limited– were initially facing 13 charges.
However, they have now been given further 48 counts as contained in the amended fact sheet the prosecution intends to use for the trial.
This brings to 61 the number of charges the embattled businessman and his family, as well as his companies which have seen their assets frozen by a court order are facing.
This is the third time the state prosecutors are amending the charges levelled against the accused persons who are before an Accra Circuit Court.
In the initial stages, they were facing seven counts when the charges were amended and some six fresh ones were added.
The charge sheet has once again been amended to include 48 new counts, leaving NAM1, his company, his wife and sister battling against 61 counts.
The prosecution, led by ASP Sylvester Asare, appearing before an Accra Circuit Court presided over by a relieving judge Malike Wanya Dey asked for an adjournment so the prosecution could file the amended charge sheet.
Per the amended charge sheet, NAM1, Rose Tetteh and Benedicta Appiah are facing 30 counts of abetment.
NAM1 is facing another count of money laundering for taking GH¢1,187,500 from the complainants knowing it to be proceeds of crime.
Two of his companies? Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Limited? are facing 26 counts of defrauding by false pretences.
Again, the two companies represented by NAM1 are facing two counts of carrying on deposit-taking business without licence, one count of unlawful deposit-taking and another count of sales of minerals without licence.
One other noticeable change in the amended charge and facts sheet is the reduction in the number of complainants who reportedly lodged a complaint with the police.
The old charge sheet had stated that NAM1 and the other accused persons and his companies had defrauded over 16,000 unsuspecting clients.
Although the new charge maintains that some 16,000 people have been defrauded, it limits the trial to some 13 persons as the complaints whose GH¢1,187, 500 NAM 1 and his accomplices fraudulently took.
The new charge sheets mentioned the complainants as Francis Agodzie, Volkan Basler, Kofi Tweneboah, Godfred Oduro Yeboah, Evelyn Twerefour, Emmanuel Oppong Cobby and Rachael Siam.
The others are Frank Konadu Agyemang, Michael Kwadwo Nsiah, Kwarteng Appiah-Agyei, Cornelius Edzorhoho, Roselyn Dede Adai and Nicholas Boadi Ofori.
Per the new facts, the complainants in October 2018 petitioned the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) about how Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Limited made a false representation to some 16,000 unsuspecting people to deposit money over a fixed period with interest under the pretext of purchasing gold from Menzgold Ghana Limited.
It said the gold purchased from Menzgold Ghana Limited was to be traded in by Brew Consult, and it was to accrue a monthly interest of 10 per cent.
According to the amended facts, upon such false representation, the complainants deposited various sums of money totalling GH¢1,187,500.
It said the police commenced investigations into the matter and NAM1, his wife and his sister absconded and locked up their offices.
It also disclosed that a warrant was issued for their arrest and NAM1 who had been in Dubai for over five months arrived at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on July 11 and was arrested, but he denied the allegations of the complaints.
The facts state that investigations revealed that Menzgold Ghana Limited, although was incorporated to purchase and sell gold, among others, it was not licensed by the Minerals Commission to trade in gold.
It further states that Brew Marketing Consult Limited was also not licensed by the Minerals Commission to purchase gold.
The case has been adjourned to October 23 for the amended charges and facts to be put before the trial judge who is on a short leave.