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Businessman in court for fraud

Henry Bruce, President and Chief Executive Officer of Leo-X ventures, a United Kingdom-based company who has been charged at an Accra Circuit Court for defrauding a couple to the tune of $25,000, under the pretext of supplying them with sugar, has been dragged to an Accra Fast Track High Court Commercial Division.

The couple, Lawrence and Emmanuella Tuffuor, who are the plaintiffs, took the matter to the Commercial Court and filed for an order for absconding warrant against the businessman, in an attempt to retrieve their money, after the accused person issued a cheque but called the bank to stop the, couple from withdrawing and money when they got there.

At the court presided over by Justice Amadu Tanko, counsel for the plaintiffs, Egbert Faibille told the court that “we are asking for a recovery sum of $25,000” and interest because Mr. Bruce the defendant had promised to pay the money but reneged on his promise.

Counsel for the defendant, Joseph Kwaku Gyimah, conceded that his client indeed owed the couple and prayed the court to grant him bail to enable the businessman “to sort things out” as soon as possible.

The Judge granted him a GH¢50,000 bail with a surety to be justified.

The facts of the case before the circuit court presided over by Justice D.E.K. Daketsey are that Mr. Tuffuor got to know the accused person, Mr. Bruce, in 2008 in London where he introduced himself as the president of Leo-X Ventures and said he could supply the Tuffuors, who are general merchants, with 12.500 metric tonnes of sugar from Brazil.

According to the facts, the accused person asked them to get the letters of credit from Ghana but they told him that they could not raise such an amount so the accused person offered to help them prepare the letters of credit if they could pay $25,000, which was part payment for the sugar importation.

The facts stated that they paid the amount to the businessman through Ecobank, Kumasi branch, on November 24 2008, and he issued them with an invoice covering 48,000 metric tonnes of rice but when asked why he said the invoice covered rice instead of sugar the accused person explained he was going to import rice in addition.

A couple of months after the accused person failed to deliver the goods when he kept saying that the goods were on the way, anytime they enquired about the merchandise, the couple realised that he was not going to make good his promise.

The facts said after more than a year of giving excuses, the couple became fed up and demanded their money back but Mr. Bruce failed to refund it so the case was reported to the police and he was consequently arraigned.

At the circuit court, Mr. Bruce admitted he owed the couple and issued a postdated cheque which was to mature last month but when the Tuffuors went to the bank to cash the money, they were told, that the accused person had ordered that the amount should not be released.

The circuit court case has been adjourned to September 2, 2010.

Source: Daily Guide

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