Ex-CEO of Beige Bank charged with money laundering, theft

Michel Nyinaku

Michael Nyinaku, former CEO of Beige Bank Limited, has been charged with 44 counts of money laundering, fraudulent breach of trust and stealing depositors’ money.

He is expected to appear before the Financial and Economic Crimes Division of the Accra High Court to answer the various charges, according to a complaint filed by the Attorney General’s Office on November 2 this year.

The suit, signed by Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, Director of Public Prosecutions, said the alleged wrongdoing was uncovered after the Bank of Ghana (BoG) revoked Nyinaku’s banking license and placed the bank in receivership.

The Bank’s license was revoked by BoG on August 1, 2018.

The lawsuit said a review of the bank’s financial and other records by the receiver identified a number of suspicious and unusual transactions.

The unusual transactions were later reported to law enforcement for investigation and revealed that between 2015 and 2018, Nyinaku, who was then CEO of Beige Bank, allegedly used various means to transfer huge sums of money to companies related to him and for his personal benefit.

He stated that the transferred funds were depositors’ funds deposited with the Bank.

In addition, according to the lawsuit, between 2017 and 2018, the accused caused the transfer of 10,071 term deposit accounts held by Beige Bank, in which various clients had placed a total of GH¢448,636,210, to Beige Capital. Asset Management Limited (BCAM) without the knowledge and consent of the clients.

Meanwhile, BCAM was a limited liability company wholly owned by The Beige Group Limited (Beige Group), an entity wholly owned by the defendant, according to the suit.

Again, the investigations revealed that the accused, between 2017 and 2018, caused the transfer of 35 fixed deposit investments of 23 clients of Beige Bank for a total of 141,042,348 GH¢ to the Beige group, a company owned by the accused, the majority shareholder of Beige Bank. .

Investigations also revealed that in March 2018, the accused caused the opening of a second “fictitious” account in the name of First Africa Savings and Loans (FASL) on an existing account holder at Beige Bank in without the knowledge of the board of directors and management. of FASL.

The prosecution alleged that the accused then caused the transfer of a sum of GH¢320 million from the accounts of various clients of Beige Bank to the BCAM account held with Beige Bank.

He said the GH¢320 million was then transferred from the BCAM account held at Beige Bank to the “fictitious” FASL account which had been opened in the books of Beige Bank on the instructions of the accused.

Between March 2018 and August 2018, the prosecution said that GH¢21,123,270.96 of the GH¢320 million was transferred from said “fictitious” FASL bank account to two people and 10 companies, nine of which were linked to the accused, on the instructions. of the accused.

The prosecution repeated that between 2015 and 2017, the defendant, through the use of payment vouchers, allegedly charged himself and others the sum of GH¢1,465,000 from the depositors’ fund. deposited with Beige Bank.

These transactions, according to the lawsuit, were recorded in a general ledger account of the bank described as the administrators account.

Investigations revealed that the accused, through the use of payment vouchers, e-mails and memos, caused a total transfer of GH¢20,599,052.58 of depositors’ funds deposited with the Beige Bank has a number of companies and individuals for its benefit.

Again, these transactions were recorded in a bank ledger account and this was described as a shareholders’ account.

According to the lawsuit, between 2016 and 2017, the defendant had, through the use of a payment voucher, caused a total amount of GH¢141,742,087.70 to be transferred from the depositors’ fund deposited with Beige Bank to a number of companies and individuals for his personal benefit. allegedly.

The transactions were recorded in a bank general ledger account and described as the project works prepayment account.

He stated that between 2017 and 2018, the accused, through the use of payment vouchers and emails, and memoranda, caused the sum of GH¢118,076,813.09 to be transferred from funds of depositors with Beige Bank to a number of companies and individuals for its benefit. .

The lawsuit said the transactions were also recorded in the bank’s general ledger account and described as beige group accounts.

Investigations, according to the prosecution, had established that money dishonestly appropriated by the defendant allegedly from Beige Bank remained unpaid as of August 1, 2018 when the bank’s license was revoked by BoG.

Source: GNA