A High Court in the Upper West regional capital, Wa has sentenced one Hassan Fuseini to 20 years imprisonment for defrauding under false pretences.
The convict, alias, Inner set up Western Investments which he used to defraud more than 200 people in Wa and its neighbouring towns.
The scheme promised 100% percent returns on investments which lured many unsuspecting persons to deposit their monies with them.
In order to entice more people, Western Investments gave goodies of cars, motorbikes and television sets to the first batch of depositors.
The company, however, folded up after it was unable to meet its obligations to clients.
Inner and his accomplices abandoned post and went into hiding.
When did the court proceedings begin?
In 2014 police apprehended Inner and his colleagues and put him before the court.
The then suspects pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to defraud under false pretences and defrauding under false pretences.
After five years of trial, the court, presided over by Justice Kwesi Boakye found them guilty of both counts and sentenced Inner, the mastermind to 20 years imprisonment in hard labour.
His accomplices who he used to mobilise the funds were fined GH¢4,800.
How much was lost?
Joy News’ Rafiq Salam reports that Western Investments got at least GH¢20 million from their clients.
A customer who spoke to Joy News said she deposited GH¢50, 000. She says she could have used the money for something beneficial and so she is pleading with authorities to help retrieve some, if not all of the money.
Another customer said if he knew Inner was the one behind the company, he wouldn’t have invested.
“He is a used clothes trader in the market and we all know him,” he lamented.
How rife are Ponzi schemes in Ghana?
Ponzi schemes continue to gain prominence in Ghana, the latest being embattled gold dealership firm, Menzgold.
The scheme promised investors 7 to 10 percent per month returns on investments.
Nana Appiah Mensah lived a plush life while convincing people to deposit in Menzgold
Despite several warnings from state authorities, a speculated 60,000 Ghanaians invested in the company and now have their monies amounting to some GH¢200 million locked up.
The CEO of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah is reportedly sitting in Dubai cells, undergoing trial for a non-related case.
Another finance company, DKM DKM Financial Services duped clients of some GH¢115 million.
The Finance Minister in November 2018 said some 80% of DKM victims have been paid.
Experts say more of such companies are spread across the country.