Man sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for misappropriating company funds

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Wed, 4 May 2022 Source: Justice Walker Junior

A 30-year-old Mr. Ernest Boakye, former employee and supervisor of the Kwahu Tafo station outlet of Infin Ghana Limited has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by Mpraeso Circuit Court for misappropriation of funds belonging to the company.

About a year ago, the company reported him to the Police after his failure to account for GH¢398,545.00 belonging to the company and was arrested and charged for stealing.

Ernest, however, pleaded not guilty, thereby prolonging proceedings to nine months, but was finally found guilty by the court after the full trial.

Narrating the facts, prosecution told the court, the convict was an employee and branch supervisor of the company at Kwahu Tafo.

Prosecution said on June 16, 2021, the internal auditor of the company was asked to conduct an audit. The auditor demanded from the convict to produce receipts of payment of some omitted sales made between 25th Dec 2019 and 31st Dec 2020, but he could not produce them.

This raised suspicions, the prosecution said, compelling the company to report the matter to the Kwahu Tafo Police, leading to his arrest.

Prosecution stated that an audit that was subsequently carried out revealed that an amount of GH¢398,545.00 was missing from the sales records of the company, which took place between 25th Dec 2019 - 31st Dec 2020.

Multiple opportunities were given to the accused to re-open his case by the court granting him leave to be recalled to tender into evidence the bank statements and deposit slips of the sales he claimed he had religiously deposited or banked into the account of the complainant company at the GCB Bank at Mpraeso-Kwahu, he told the court he was not interested.

The convict even stated that he would need the copy of the bank statement for his defense and later refused to tender it into evidence even though served with a copy; as well as his refusal for an order of the court for the management of the GCB Bank Ltd at Mpraeso to furnish him with an independent copy of the bank statement as well as copies of the deposit slips at that same bank was not only telling significantly but very disappointing and shocking to say the least; which in the opinion of the Court only confirmed his guilt.

Mr. Stephen Kumi, the trial judge, in pronouncing the sentence said, the court also took judicial notice of the fact that such conducts by fraudulent and dishonest employees - such as the convict herein- have led to the collapse of businesses and sometimes deter and serve as a disincentive to private individuals and entities from investing and maintaining businesses, which at the end of the day worsens the already high unemployment rate and undoubtedly hurt the health of the economy with the attendant deleterious effects on the masses and government revenue.

The convict thus deserves some reasonable custodial sentence, to serve as a deterrent to him and to other elements within the jurisdiction with similar criminal dispositions. It will be seen that crime does not pay and further to assure businesses and investors that unscrupulous employees who steal from and defraud them would be severely dealt with by the courts.

If not for the remorse the convict showed throughout the trial period, he would have given him a higher jail term. The Judge gave his ruling, pronouncing a 10 year imprisonment with hard labour.

Source: Justice Walker Junior