Two insurance companies upon whose surety Criminal Court ‘C’ relied to release six-persons convicted of squandering US$108,926.19 and L$16,867,841.40 out of the accounts of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC) are at the verge of being held responsible to restitute the money.
The decision for Continental General and Life Insurance Corporation and the Family Dollar Universal Insurance Services to pay back the hospital’s money resulted from the absence of the convicts and their guarantors (insurance companies), when Criminal Court ‘C,’ where the six were first tried and found guilty, read the mandate of the Supreme Court.
A judicial source hinted to the Daily Observer that by September 7, Criminal Court ‘C’ Judge Bioma Konto will enforce the High Court’s judgment that called for restitution of the money and imprisonment of the convicts.
“Since the convicts that were benefiting from the companies’ surety cannot be found anywhere around the country, we are resolved to hold the surety responsible for restitution,” the source said.
Judge Konto did not say when the court was going to hold the companies responsible to restitute the hospital’s money.
The convicts that include Patrick Konuwa, former Accounts Officer at JFK, together with Fahn Borbor, James Ricks, Rebecca Arnous, Thomas G. Mezzeh and Benjamin Dargbeh, have paid over US$30,000 in bond fees for the companies to serve as ultimate guarantors and ensure that they are released from prison.
Their charges at the time were economic sabotage, theft of property, money laundering, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation.
Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh, who at the time read the Court’s mandate, said that “Konuwa is ordered to restitute US$13,323.91 and L$15,807,094.40, while Borbor is to pay back US$55,049.28 and L$1,045,000.”
“Ricks is mandated to restitute US$4,900, and L$15,774,000,” the Justice’s opinion declared.
For Arnous, Justice Yuoh’s judgment said, “He was ordered to pay a fine of US$8,000 as “deterrent in keeping with Section 50.10 (3) (b) of the Penal Law.”
Mezzeh and Dargbeh were sentenced to imprisonment of six years each, four and a half of which were suspended.
She meanwhile ordered that Mezzeh be made to restitute US$8,525, while Dargbeh should likewise pay back US$19,218.
On their sentences, the justice said, “The five-year sentence imposed on Konuwa be increased to nine years, while three more years be added to Borbor’s five years.”
At the same time, Yuoh ordered that Ricks’ two-year sentence be increased to eight years.
The case grew out of complaints of financial impropriety filed by the JFKMC against Konuwa and his co-defendants who, on November 2, 2016, were adjudged guilty of the commission of the crimes of economic sabotage, theft of property, money laundering, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation.
Their conviction and subsequent sentences were imposed following their court trial, having been accused of forging signatures of senior staffs before withdrawing from the JFK Hospital’s accounts at three commercial banking institutions.