Founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by an Accra High Court today.
Mr Essien was convicted of stealing over GH¢90m of Bank of Ghana’s liquidity support to the now-defunct financial institution.
This comes after his inability to fully pay the said amount back to the State after agreeing to do so despite being afforded the opportunity.
He earlier paid ¢30 million upfront in December 2022 and was required to pay ¢20 million as the first installment of the ¢60 million outstanding amount by April 28, 2023.
But he was only able to pay ¢5 million. In May, the founder was given up until July 4 to liquidate his assets and pay the state ¢55 million. This deadline elapsed without any payments made.
Today, the state submitted a request to the court, seeking a custodial sentence in line with the agreement terms.
Justice Eric Kyei Baffour upon a request by the convict’s lawyer deferred the hearing of the application to impose a custodial sentence.
This was in the criminal case filed against him following the collapse of the bank.
William Ato Essien, Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor and Tetteh Nettey, a former Managing Director of MC Management Service owned by Mr. Essien were charged with 23 counts of conspiracy, stealing from the ¢620 million liquidity support given to the bank by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), to enable it to service its maturing debt.
The accused persons, according to the prosecution, opened various bank accounts with Capital Bank through which the ¢620 million BoG liquidity support was transferred while others were carried in jute bags to Ato Essien.