Court jails self-styled businessman five years over rent fraud

An Accra Circuit Court has sentenced a self-styled businessman to five years in prison for defrauding two public servants of GH?37,500.00 in a house renting scheme. Joseph Agyemang, aka 'Nana Yaw Boatey,' collected the money under the guise of renting out his property to them but failed. Agyemang pleaded not guilty to two counts of defrauding by false pretence. But after a full trial, he was found guilty and was sentenced accordingly. The Court presided over by Mr Isaac Addo, sentenced Agyemang to five years imprisonment for defrauding Loius Batieka Babalanga of GH?17,500.00 and another five years for swindling Nana Adwoa Ewudzie-Odoom of GH?20,000.00. Both sentences are to run concurrently. The Court also directed Agyemang to refund GH?17,500.00 to Babalanga and GH?20,000.00 to Ewudzie-Odoom. The prosecution, led by Police Chief Inspector Josephine Lamptey, informed the Court that the complainants, Babalanga and Ewudzie-Odoom, were National Signal Bureau employees, while Agyemang lived in Israel, near Abeka Lapaz. It stated that in 2019, the complainants searched the Internet for rental housing but were unsuccessful. The prosecution said that a few days later, the complainants received a phone call from an agent who informed them that Agyemang had some properties for rent. The complainants expressed interest, and they were scheduled to visit properties in Achimota and Dansoman, respectively. 'They were led to the convict who introduced himself to them as the owner of the properties and also negotiated the rent with them,' the prosecution added. After agreeing on the price, Ewudzie-Odoom issued two cheques totalling GH?20,000.00, while Babalanga deposited GH?17,500.00 into Agyemang's GT Bank account. The prosecution said after making the payments, the complainants attempted to occupy the properties but were told that Agyemang did not own them. It stated the complainants attempted to locate Agyemang but were unable. According to the prosecution, the complainants went to the bank to prevent Agyemang f rom accessing the money but were informed that it had already been withdrawn. Further investigation revealed that Agyemang and his collaborators, who were still at large, roamed the city photographing homes in various locations and posting them on the internet to attract people looking for places to rent. When a client indicates an interest in renting one of the houses, Agyemang poses as the property's owner under an alias and disappears after collecting the rent. The prosecution alleged that Agyemang had defrauded many persons using the modus operandi. On June 12, 2022, Agyemang was arrested by the Police. The prosecution said that efforts were on to apprehend the other accomplices and bring them to book. Source: Ghana News Agency