The Southwark Crown Court in London has sentenced six Ghanaians; four men and two women, for engaging in fraud.
According to the ‘City of London Police’s Fraud Squad’, the suspects created make-believe companies to apply for credit from well-known businesses including American Express and Barclaycard.
They also deceptively acquired luxury items including over £126,000 worth of mobile phones and tablet devices plus Cartier and Rolex watches and items from Burberry.
Three out of the six; Marcus Boahene-Coabbina, 38; Victor Templar-Quarshie, and Frank Allan, had, as of December 13, 2018 been sentenced for their various roles in the above mentioned crimes, with the other three; Yaa Abrefa, Abena Amankwaa Frempong and Craig Apaw, scheduled to be sentenced by the New year.
Based on investigations conducted by the Fraud Squad, the offenders were, between June 2014 and February 2016, using false documents, buying inactive company names and appointing fictitious directors. Once the company had been formally established, fake back-dated accounts were submitted to Companies House which gave the impression that they had a very successful trading history and represented low credit risk.
They would then make applications to their chosen credit card companies, which, after carrying out the necessary checks, were reassured by the false information and approved a line of credit. This gave the fraudsters and their fraudulent companies access to a high credit limit. The suspects would then rapidly spend up to this limit, without making any repayments. This is known as short firm fraud.
The core offenders involved at every stage were Carter, Spencer and Allan. The investigation found that Abrefa, who is Carter’s ex-partner, aided him by allowing him to use her bank account and registering high-end designer watches paid for with the proceeds, in her own name. Amankwaa Frempong, who is also Carter’s ex-partner, would buy goods in her name with the fraudulently obtained cards, which he then exported back to Ghana. Apaw assisted Carter by collecting a Rolex watch worth £8,250 when Carter was in prison and passed it to Frempong, which she then pawned for cash.
The case was initially reported to the City of London Police as a case of fraudulent application for, and subsequent use of American Express corporate cards. When investigation into this criminality started, a wider criminal network was uncovered.
The items that were bought included electronics, lease vehicles and high-end watches, to the value of £945,936. The goods would then be delivered to virtual offices opened in the same fictitious details as the companies themselves. Once the goods were delivered, they were immediately removed and the suspects moved on.
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