A Ghanaian gospel preacher, Rev Edward Buabeng has been jailed 519 years by an Accra Circuit Court presided over by Evelyn Asamoah.
Rev Buabeng was handed down the sentence yesterday, after having been found guilty on 173 counts of conspiracy to commit a crime and defrauding by false pretences.
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 final conclusion after a three-year trial, in which 12 witnesses from over 100 defrauded victims were called to testify against the accused persons.
He was handed down the sentence yesterday, after having been found guilty on 173 counts of conspiracy to commit a crime and defrauding by false pretences.
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 expected interest of 40 percent (40%) each for a period of three months.
The complainants made the investment 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, lodged a complaint 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 offence 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 honour 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 licence 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.