A Researcher, who collected GHC 372,500 from two persons under the pretext of investing it in bitcoin investment but absconded with the money, has been ordered to pay a fine of GHC60,000 by an Accra Circuit Court.
Julius Bradford Lamptey, who is also a data Analyst, in default would serve 20 months imprisonment.
This was after the court presided over by Mrs Evelyn Asamoah found Lamptey guilty at the end of the trial on four counts of defrauding by false pretences.
The court directed the convict, who shed tears in court, to pay the outstanding amount to the complainants, namely Alice Atuleri and Edith Mahama.
In his plea for mitigation, Lamptey told the court that he was married with two kids and that presently, his wife was pregnant and he was the bread winner.
Lamptey also told the court that he was deceived by one Raymond and another to invest in the bitcoin investment, which had landed him in trouble.
According to the convict, who was abandoned by his lawyer while judgement was being read, he had never defrauded anyone, and that he had no intentions of doing same to the complainants and prayed the court for mercy.
The facts of the prosecution, led by Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Fuseini Yakubu, are that the first complainant, Alice Atuleri, was a trader and the second complainant, Humu Edith Mahama, a businesswoman.
The Prosecution said Lamptey worked with Ghana Chamber of Commerce and that in May 2018, Lamptey had introduced Alice the first complainant to an investment package, which he claimed had a monthly return of 40 per cent on any amount invested.
It said a month later Lamptey collected GHC200,000 on two different dates from Alice and he later returned GHC 40,000 to Alice purporting that the amount was interest accrued on her investment package.
The prosecution said Alice was enticed with the interest accrued and added GHC 150,000 after the convict had demanded the money.
In total, the complainant gave GHC350,000 to the convict.
It said Lamptey after collecting GHC350,000 from Alice, he promised to pay pack the interest within six months with effect from June 23, 2018.
The prosecution told the court that the six month duration had expired, the complainant made several calls to the convict in her bid to recover the interest accrued on the money but to no avail.
It said Lamptey went into hiding.
In a related development, the prosecution said Lamptey in June 2018, approached Humu, the second complainant and with the same modus operandi and she (the complainant) parted with GHC 22,500.
After several efforts t to trace Lamptey, Humu reported the matter to the Police.
Thee prosecution said on October 18, 2019, Lamptey was arrested and during investigations, he admitted collecting the complainants’ monies.
It said Lamptey claimed that he handed over the monies to his business partners – one Raymond Osei and Kwabena Acheampong Baafi to invest same in forex trading.
The prosecution said Lamptey, however, failed to lead the Police to his so called partners and he could not provide documents indicating that he handed over the monies to his partners to trade in Forex as he claimed.
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