New Times circulation clerk jailed 5 years for embezzlement

THE Ho Circuit Court has sentenced a circulation clerk at the regional office of the New Times Corporation in Ho, to five years in hard labour for stealing GH¢132, 822.34, belonging to his employers.

The accused, Moses Larbi Owiredu, popularly known as Paa, pleaded guilty to stealing and falsification of accounts.

Chief Superintendent Yakubu Ayamga Akolgo, prosecuting, told the court that accused was responsible for receipts for advertisement placement, fees from subscribers and vendors on behalf of the corporation.

The prosecution said that accused was expected to pay all the monies he received on the job, into the account of his employers.

The court heard that between February 2015 and June 2018, accused falsified records and documents and succeeded in misappropriating the amount, and this was revealed by a recent audit by the corporation.

Subsequently, Owiredu was arrested and further police investigations into the matter revealed that he issued receipts from missing receipts books from the office for cash, which he did not pay into the account of his employers.

In other instances, accused altered amounts on original and duplicate receipts to cash from clients and pocketed the amounts, the court was further told.

Owiredu also failed to account for large volumes of the corporation’s unsold newspapers.

Owiredu, according to the prosecution, admitted the offence and told investigators that he used the money to fund his university degree programme, among other expenditure.

The convict also said that he used part of the money to run the regional office.

The prosecution said that although it was ready for a plea bargain with accused to enable him to refund the embezzled money, it was realised that the convict had spent the entire amount and was in no position to refund it.

The court dismissed the explanations of the convict, and said that the use of public funds to fund his education could not be justified.

Furthermore, the court told him that using the corporation’s money to run the office was not part of his job description.

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO

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