The General Overseer of Liberty Vineyard International Ministries, Rev. Edward Buabeng, and two others have appeared before an Accra Circuit Court for allegedly defrauding over 100 people of various sums of money totalling over GH¢2 million.
The 48-year-old pastor and his two accomplices, Wilfred Brown, a 55-year-old accountant, and one Aubrey des Bordes Mends, a 48-year-old businessman, are alleged to have lured their victims into investing various sums of money in their company – Career Link Markets Company Limited.
They are said to have promised their clients 40 per cent interest on all investment but failed to fulfill their promises.
Rev. Buabeng and his accomplices are facing a total of 173 counts of conspiracy and defrauding by false pretences.
He and Wilfred Brown who were in court pleaded not guilty to all the charges and the court presided over by Harriet Akweley Quaye granted them bail of GH¢700,000, with three sureties each. The court issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Aubrey des Bordes Mends whose is at large.
According to the prosecution, the complainants, including Joseph Osei-Safo Kumi and his wife Brenda Adolphine Appia, in July 2018 invested $7,000 and $6,000 respectively in the company which was to accrue 40 per cent interest.
It said the investment had matured in October 2018 but the three accused persons failed to pay both the interest on the investment, as well as the principal amount and went into hiding.
The complainants later reported the matter to the Dansoman police in Accra and other customers numbering over 100 subsequently came out to lodge similar complaints saying they had invested various sums of money totalling GH¢1,193,136 and $185,408 in the company.
The three accused persons were subsequently arrested and they were said to have admitted the offence in their caution statements and promised to refund the monies but failed to do so.
According to the facts, investigations show that the company was registered at the Registrar General’s Department but has not been licensed by the Security and Exchanges Commission to undertake such a business.
It added that the accused persons during investigations brought an amount of GH¢115,000 and it was disbursed to the first-two complainants and six others.
Hearing continues on September 10.