Three Insurance Companies are likely to face serious embarrassment, if they do not, by the end of August 2018, turn-over 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) from several banking institutions.
The Continental General and Life Insurance Corporation, the Family Dollar Universal Insurance Services and the Sky Insurance Company’s troubles began when the Supreme Court mandated the Criminal Court ‘C’, where the six were first tried and declared guilty, to enforce its judgment by August this year.
During the opening of the criminal courts on Monday, August 13, for their normal activities, a judicial source hinted the Daily Observer that the Criminal Court ‘C’ has placed serious priority on the enforcement of the Supreme Court mandate, meaning that the companies, as guarantors for the convicts, need to begin searching for them, if they don’t show up.
Before the High Court mandate was given, Patrick Konuwa, the former Account Officer at John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC), together with Fahn Borbor, James Ricks, Rebecca Arnous, Thomas G. Mezzeh and Benjamin Dargbeh, was said to have paid over US$30,000 in bond fees for the companies to serve as ultimate guarantors, to ensure their release from prison.
Traditionally, after bail is set, the accused pays a percentage of the full bond to a bail-bond agent. In return, the agent arranges to have the accused released on a bond. An amount from that fee, however, goes to the agent’s insurer, which provides the actual bond and is the ultimate guarantor if the defendant fails to show up.
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 mandate, said that the case illustrates that the judge, having adjudged the defendants guilty as charged, “Erred when he sentenced the convicts to lesser offenses, and also refused to demand for restitution.”
When the six were found guilty by the jury of Criminal Court ‘C’, a five–year sentence each was served on Konuwa and Borbor, while Ricks was slapped with a two-year jail sentence.
The charges of economic sabotage, theft of property, money laundering, criminal conspiracy and criminal facilitation were also dropped against Rebecca Arnous, Thomas G. Mezzeh and Benjamin Dargbeh, because they “cooperated” with the prosecution, leading to the successful conviction of Konuwa, Borbor and Ricks. There was no mention of restitution.
However, Justice Yuoh concluded that the five-year sentence imposed on Konuwa be increased to nine years, while three more years be added to Borbor’s five years.
“Konuwa is ordered to restitute US$13,323.91 and L$15,807,094.40, while Borbor is ordered to restitute US$55,049.28 and L$1,045,000.”
At the same time, Yuoh ordered that Ricks’ two-year sentence be increased to eight years.
“Ricks is mandated to restitute US$4,900 and L$15,774,000,” the Justice’s opinion declared.
For Arnous, his sentence was set to a year in jail. 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 are sentenced to imprisonment of six years, each four and a half of which are suspended,” Yuoh said of the two.
She meanwhile ordered that Mezzeh be made to restitute US$8,525, while Dargbeh should likewise restitute US$19,218.
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.