Ato Essien Pleads Guilty To Misappropriation of Depositors’ Funds; To Be Convicted On His Own Plea

Ato Essien Pleads Guilty To Misappropriation of Depositors’ Funds; To Be Convicted On His Own Plea

  • Ato Essien has pleaded guilty to charges brought against him by the state in the events leading to the collapse of the bank he founded, Capital Bank
  • He pleaded guilty to charges of misappropriation of funds deposited at the bank by thousands of clients and also to stealing, abetment to stealing, conspiracy to steal and money laundering among other charges
  • The judge sitting on the matter Justice Eric Kyei Baffour is yet to pronounce a final judgement on the matter

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The long-drawn-out legal battle between the founder of now-defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, and the state has come to end.

Ato Essien has pleaded guilty to charges of misappropriation of funds deposited at the bank by thousands of clients.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing, abetment to stealing, conspiracy to steal and money laundering among charges.

Atto Essien is the CEO of the now defunct Capital Bank.
William Atto Essien is the CEO of the now defunct Capital Bank. Source: UGC.
Source: UGC

According to a GhanaWeb report, Ato Essien pleaded guilty after the court accepted the terms of agreement reached between lawyers of Essien and state prosecutors to pay a total of GH¢90 million as refund to the state.

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But the report explained that the judge is yet to make a judgement on the case.

Ato Essien has been standing trial with the Managing Director (MD) of the defunct bank, Fitzgerald Odonkor, and the MD of MC Management Services, a company said to be owned by Essien, Tettey Nettey.

The state has accused the three persons of engaging in various illegal acts that led to the dissipation of GH¢620 million in liquidity support given to the Capital Bank by the central bank between 2015 and 2016.

Earlier, the high court had rejected an amount of GH¢90 million presented by William Ato Essien.

Presiding judge Justice Eric Kyei Baffour at the time said Ato Essien had agreed to pay GH¢90 million as restitution to the state.

Ato Essien's offer to pay GH¢90 million to the state was consistent with Section 35 of the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459). This Act permits accused persons to plead guilty and pay restitution to the state in cases in which there had been financial loss to the state.

But it was rejected by the judge because the money which was obtained by Mr. Essien in 2015 was done when the cedi to dollar exchange rate was GH¢3.79 pesewas. Justice Kyei Baffour explained that Ato Essien would cheat the state if the monies were refunded using the same rate rather than the current GH¢13 with interest.

According to the judge, if he accepted the agreement in its current form, it meant people who had committed crimes would be made to profit from it.

Court slams BoG’s application against defunct Capital Bank’s founder

Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh reported in a previous story about the case that the Commercial Division of the Accra High Court dismissed an application by the Bank of Ghana to set aside a counterclaim by Ato Essien.

The court then gave Essien permission to challenge the revocation of Capital Bank's license by the Bank of Ghana.

According to the court, there was no merit in the Bank's application to stop the counterclaim from Essien.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

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