Monday, March 1, 2010

Graphic accountants jailed

THE Accra Circuit Court has sentenced two accounts officers of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) to a total of 14 years for stealing the company’s GH¢140,000.
Daniel Tsagli, an accounts clerk stationed at the company’s Ho office, and Frank Oduro, an accounts officer, were said to have failed to lodge in the company’s account at the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) the money collected from vendors and agents of the company from January 2007 to March 2008.
Tsagli will serve a 10-year jail term after he was found guilty on three counts of forgery of documents, possession of forged documents and stealing, while Oduro, who was convicted on one count of abetment, will serve four years behind bars.
The two had pleaded not guilty to the charges but the court held that they had not been able to prove their innocence during the trial.
The trial judge, Mrs Ivy Heward-Mills, held that the prosecution had been able to lead ample evidence to prove that Tsagli and Oduro acted together to deprive the GCGL of GH¢140,000.
The facts of the case were that some time in April 2008, the company was preparing its accounts for the 2007 financial year when it detected that Tsagli had failed to lodge GH¢140,000 which he had collected from vendors and agents of the company in the company’s account with GCB.
Instead, Tsagli presented fake pay-in slips to show he had deposited the said amount at the bank.
Investigations revealed that Tsagli had secured a stamp similar to that of the Ho branch of the GCB and stamped various pay-in slips amounting to GH¢140,000.
In his attempt to cover up his deeds, he forged signatures purported to be those of tellers of the bank and presented them to the head office of the company.
Tsagli, who had been on the run after the theft was detected, surrendered himself to the police on May 19, 2008 but he could not offer any tangible explanation for his actions in his caution statement to the police.
The police also found that Tsagli had sent two of the pay-in slips to Oduro to work on but Oduro did not key in those slips into the company’s accounting system, thereby making it difficult for Tsagli’s activities to be detected.
Tsagli had also told the police that he had sent all the pay-in slips to Oduro but Oduro denied and stated that he received only two of the said slips.
The court, after considering the evidence led by the prosecution and the accused persons, found the two guilty and sentenced them accordingly.

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