The founder and former Chief Executive Officer of defunct Beige Bank Limited, Michael Nyinaku, has been charged by the Office of the Attorney General for allegedly stealing depositors’ money from the liquidated bank totaling GH¢1,212,684,783.46.
Court documents filed by the Attorney General indicate that the accused person had the bank transfer various sums of money between 2015 and 2018 into various accounts for his personal use.
Some of the accounts were fictitiously created on the blind side of board of directors of companies that already had accounts with the bank. Monies deposited in such accounts were later transferred into various accounts of companies linked with Mr. Nyinaku for his personal benefit.
He has been charged with a total of 44 charges of stealing, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering, according to the charge sheet filed by Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Michael Nyinaku has been charged with nine counts of stealing contrary to Section 124(1) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
He has also been charged with 26 counts of fraudulent breach of trust contrary to Section 128 of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
Again, the embattled former bank owner has been charged with another nine counts of money laundering contrary to Section 1(2)(a)(ii) of Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2020 (Act 1044).
A brief fact of the case filed indicates that on August 1, 2018, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) revoked the banking licence of Beige Bank and placed it in receivership.
It said a review of the financial and other records of the bank conducted by the Receiver and his team identified a number of suspicious and unusual transactions, which were subsequently reported to the law enforcement agencies for investigations.
Investigations revealed that between 2015 and 2018, the accused person as CEO of the bank used various means to transfer huge sums of depositors’ money to companies related to him and for his personal benefit.
“Between 2017 and 2018, the accused person caused the transfer of 10,071 fixed deposit accounts held with Beige Bank in which various customers placed a total of GH¢448,636,210.21 to Beige Capital Asset Management Limited (BCAM), without the knowledge and consent of these customers. BCAM is a limited liability company wholly owned by The Beige Group Limited (Beige Group), an entity which in turn is wholly owned by the accused.”
It says investigations also revealed that Michael Nyinaku between the year 2017 and 2018, caused the transfer of 35 fixed deposit investments of 23 customers of Beige Bank totalling GH¢141,042,348.92 to the Beige Group, a company wholly owned by him.
“Investigations further revealed that, sometime in March 2018, the accused person caused a fictitious second account to be opened in the name of First Africa Savings and Loans (FASL), an existing account holder with Beige Bank, without the knowledge of the board and management of FASL. The accused person then caused the transfer of the sum of GH¢320 million from the accounts of various Beige Bank customers into the bank account of BCAM held with Beige Bank,” the fact stated.
It continued that “the GH₵320 million was subsequently transferred from the BCAM account held with Beige Bank into the fictitious FASL account that had been opened in Beige Bank’s books on the instructions of the accused. Between March 2018 and August 2018, GH¢21,123,270.96 out of the GH¢320 million was transferred from the fictitious FASL bank account to some two individuals and ten companies, nine of which are related to the accused person, on the instructions of the accused person.”
Again, between 2015 and 2017, the accused person, through the use of payment vouchers, caused the sum of GH¢1,465,000.00 of depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank to be paid to himself and other persons.
Investigations also revealed that the accused person, through the use of payment vouchers, emails and memos, caused a total amount of GH¢20,599,052.58 of depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of companies and individuals for his benefit. These transactions were recorded in a general ledger account of the bank described as ‘Shareholders Account’.
“Additionally, between 2016 and 2017, the accused person, through the use of payment vouchers, caused a total amount of GH¢141,742,087.70 of depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of companies and individuals for his benefit.
“Between 2017 and 2018, the accused person, through the use of payment vouchers, emails and memos, further caused the sum of GH¢118,076,813.09 of depositors’ funds lodged with Beige Bank to be transferred to a number of companies and individuals for his benefit. These transactions were also recorded in a general ledger account of the bank described as the ‘Beige Group Account’,” the fact added.
Court documents indicate that investigations established that the money dishonestly appropriated by Michael Nyinaku from defunct Beige Bank remained unpaid as at August 1, 2018, when the bank’s licence was revoked by BoG.