How Ato Essien was charged with stealing GH¢70m

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Recent information stumbled upon by us shows how William Ato Essien, founder of the defunct Capital Bank, allegedly took GH¢70 million from the bank, leading to its collapse.

Ato Essien, who is facing 26 charges along with three others for stealing  and misappropriating GH¢262 million from the defunct Capital Bank, had earlier gone to the media ahead of his arraignment to create the impression that he was being made a victim.

In recent television appearances where he absolved himself of any wrongdoing, he said his association with any wrongdoing was politically motivated.

Ato Essien even said no adverse findings were made against him when the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) investigated his alleged misconduct at the failed Capital Bank.

Among the charges slapped on the failed bank director is a charge of conspiring to steal and stealing GH¢70 million from the bank between June and August 2017.

He is said to have connived with Kate Quartey-Papafio of Reroy Cables to steal the GH¢70 million.

However, information available to DAILY GUIDE indicates that Ato Essien allegedly approached Kate Quartey-Papafio to pick shares in Capital Bank at the time the books of the bank were red and needed capital injection.

She was said to have shown interest in buying equity in the struggling bank but had no cash, so she promised to use fixed assets as equity, to which the Bank of Ghana objected.

Ato Essien, whose modus operandi is conscripting high-profile individuals to his numerous finance houses to gain credibility, decided to create an account for Ms. Quartey-Papafio at Capital Bank and paid the GH¢70 million into it to buy shares in the bank.

But before the money landed in Kate’s account at Capital Bank, where she actually had no account, the GH¢70 million had made a quick dash into the account of another customer of the bank, from where the money was returned to Capital Bank.

According to EOCO sources which investigated the stealing and money laundering case, the GH¢70 million travelled in three banks within one day, violating bank regulations. The money was said to be part of the GH¢620 million bailout from BoG to the distressed bank.

Unfortunately, the transaction took place at the time BoG was on the verge of stepping in by revoking Capital Bank’s operating licence which made it difficult to clean the books. The money was subsequently returned to GCB Bank by EOCO after the investigation.

Ato Essien was charged on Tuesday along with Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, Managing Director of the defunct Capital Bank; Tetteh Nettey, a director, and Kate Quartey-Papafio for conspiracy to steal from the bank.

Together, the four are facing a total of 26 counts of conspiracy to steal, stealing, money laundering, among others.

A copy of the charge sheet filed at an Accra High Court indicates that Ato Essien and Tetteh Nettey, between October and November 2015, agreed to act together with a common purpose to steal GH¢100 million from the defunct bank.

The two, with the help of Fitzgerald Odonkor, succeeded in stealing and misappropriating GH¢100 million belonging to the bank.

Ato Essien and Tetteh Nettey are alleged to have also stolen — between the same period — GH¢30 million from the bank.

According to the charge sheet, the two, again in January 2016, stole and laundered an amount of GH¢35 million from the bank.

The charges against Essien and Nettey also state that the two, in June 2015, stole another GH¢2 million from the defunct bank orchestrated by Fitzgerald Odonkor.

More coming.

By Fortune Alimi


ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

[email protected]

An Entrepreneur, Corporate Communications Executive and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of A Senior Journalist with Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). In 2015, he won a £35,000 postgraduate scholarship to study MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow who studied at Clark Atlanta University in USA on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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