New Times clerk sentenced to seven years imprisonment

BY: Isaac Yeboah
Moses Larbi Owiredu
Moses Larbi Owiredu

A circulation clerk of the New Times Corporation, Moses Larbi Owiredu, has been sentenced to a total of seven years imprisonment. It includes five years for stealing and two years for falsifying the corporation’s accounts.

The sentences are to run concurrently.

Embezzlement

The Ho Circuit Court, presided over by Mrs Priscilla Dikro Ofori, also found Owiredu guilty of embezzling GH¢132,822.34 belonging to his employers.


He was convicted on September 4, 2018 but the court deferred sentencing to today, October 1, 2018.

He had pleaded guilty with explanation, saying that he had used part of the money to run the office because his employers were not financing its administration.

The judge disagreed with him, saying, he was not the spending officer.

Owiredu pleaded guilty with explanation when he was charged but the court rejected his plea.

Facts

According to the prosecution, an audit of Owiredu’s work as a circulation clerk of New Times Corporation in the Volta Region from February 2015 to June 2018, uncovered his crimes.

It said as the clerk, Owiredu was responsible for receipts of revenue from adverts, subscription fees and newspaper vendors’ payments and was, therefore, required to pay all the money received into the corporation's bank account.

It said the management of the corporation conducted the audit on suspicion of wrongdoing.

The prosecution said when the anomalies were discovered after the audit, the regional manager of the corporation reported the convict to the police.

Receipts

The prosecution said police investigations later revealed that Owiredu issued receipts from missing receipt books for cash but did not pay the money into the corporation’s bank account.

The convict, it said, also altered amounts in original and duplicate receipts to collect cash without payment into the corporation’s bank account and also issued receipts with same serial numbers to two different clients for cash but failed to pay same into the corporation’s accounts.

It said the investigations also established that the convict issued torn out and discarded receipts for cash, including temporary receipts for cash without paying the money to the corporation.