Asante Berko was not found guilty by US SEC – lawyer

BY: Graphic.com.gh
Asante Berko
Asante Berko

Lawyer for former Managing Director of the Tema Oil Refinery, Asante Berko say media reports suggesting that he was found guilty by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is “false”.

“In fact, Mr. Berko recently settled a case with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC’s complaint. Neither the SEC nor the court found Mr. Berko guilty. Mr. Berko settled with the SEC, and the SEC’s case is now closed,” lawyer for Mr Berko, Carl H. Loewenson, Jr. from Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP in New York said in a press statement.

“In their complaint, the SEC alleged that Mr. Berko had received $2 million as compensation from a Turkish energy company “for arranging the bribery scheme,” Loewenson stated.

He explained that the SEC sought disgorgement of those allegedly “ill-gotten gains,” plus interest, plus a monetary penalty. Even before Mr. Berko responded to the SEC’s complaint, the SEC agreed to settle for disgorgement of $275,000 (plus interest), with no penalty. The payment by Mr. Berko is not a fine or a penalty.”

The US Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) claimed that Asante Berko arranged for millions of dollars in bribes to be paid to government officials in Ghana to help a client win a power plant contract.

“Certain media reported today that our firm’s client, Asante Berko, has been found guilty by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. This statement is false,” Loewenson stated.

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