Two persons, including a banker who duped a Lebanese of $600,000 under the pretext of selling to him a two- storey building, have been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court.
Padmore Mensah, aka Joseph Adjebu Blankson or Francis Buah, is serving ten years imprisonment while his accomplice, Clifford Kyei Baffour Antwi, a former bank manager of the Agriculture Development Bank (ADB), was sentenced to five years imprisonment.
This was after the Court, presided over by Mrs Malike Awo Wornyah Dey, found them guilty on the charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, abetment of crime and defrauding by false pretences.
Three other accomplices, whose names were given as Charles, Kweku Yeboah and Willie, are however at large.
Handing down the sentence after a three-year trial, the Judge said she took into consideration the increasing nature of fraud cases and the fact that the accused persons had spent nine months in custody.
Defence Counsel, Dr. Kofi Orleans Lindsay, pleaded for mitigation for the convicts.
Prosecuting, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Stephen Kwame Adjei, told the Court that Fares Aki, Industrialist and Managing Director of Qualiplast Company Limited at Avenor, is the complainant.
DSP Adjei said in May 2014, Mr Aki, who wanted to purchase a house, was approached by an Estate Agent who introduced Mensah as someone who had a two-storey building located at Airport Residential Area for sale.
The prosecution said Mensah made Mr Aki believe that he was selling the house as a result of his son’s ailment who was domiciled in London.
Mensah then conspired with one Charles, who is at large, to prepare fake documents to cover the house. The house was priced at $600,000 or GHc 2 million.
DSP Adjei said Mensah and Charles handed over the fake documents to the complainant who in turn handed same to his lawyer for authentication.
Later, the prosecution said the complainant issued two cheques with the face value of 500,000 Ghana cedis each and the monies were to be cashed by Mensah, who gave his name to the complainant as Francis Kwamina Buah.
DSP Adjei said after Mensah received the cheques, he contacted Charles. Mensah who then contacted Kweku Yeboah, now at large, who introduced Antwi, the bank manager of ADB at Sefwi Essan in the Western Region.
According to the prosecution, Antwi opened an account for Mensah, and he lodged the cheques into that account.
The prosecution said three days later, Mensah, Kweku Yeboah and Willie travelled to Sefwi Essan where Antwi issued a counter cheque to Mensah instead of his cheques, which enabled him to withdraw all the money from the account and shared among themselves.
DSP Adjei said Mensah received 100,000 Ghana cedis as his share.
When the complainant decided to take possession of the building the occupants informed him that the house was not for sale and said the one who claimed to be the owner was fake.
A report was made to the Police and Mensah was arrested where he mentioned Charles, Kweku Yeboah and Willie as his accomplices.