Few months after the General Manger of Korea Trading Corporation, James Togbah, was convicted of stealing US$120, 000 from the company, another person, Bishop Manasseh Conto, was arrested yesterday by Criminal Court C for his involvement in the disappearance of US$155,930 from the same company that he helped to establish.
Korea Trading Corporation, a vehicle sale and rental company, is owned by Korean businessman Hungchi Choi.
Although Bishop Conto, who is also an overseer of the Mission for Today Holy Church Incorporated, located in New Kru Town Community, was arrested, he was later released by Judge Emery Paye of Criminal Court C, Temple of Justice, where the bishop is expected to stand trial.
Conto, along with Pastor Steve Kettor, who was the new general manager of the company, are to face charges of theft of property and misapplication of entrusted property brought against them by the government.
It is still a mystery how Bishop Conto got freed by the court, because there is no record to show that he filed a criminal appearance bond.
In the document that brought Bishop Conto under the jurisdiction of the court, it alleges that Pastor Kettor, who is said to be at large, entered into a vehicle rental contract with the World Food Program (WFP) Liberia office for a monthly payment of US$18,445, an amount the defendants collected for five months from October 13, 2014 and to March 2015.
The court record alleged further that they received the money in the name of SACS Group, a company created jointly by Kettor and Bishop Conto.
According to the document, the pair, along with one Smith, who is yet to be identified, used SACS Group for the sole purpose of siphoning money from the Korea Trading Corporation. It was a time during which the company provided car rental services to several customers.
“Bishop Conto, Pastor Kettor and Smith received through Korea Trading Corporation’s Ecobank account number 0061024724121001 the amount of US$92,225 out of which the company allegedly received US$31,320, leaving a balance of US$60,905 unaccounted for,” the court record claimed.
Besides, the court record alleged that Kettor as general manager of Korea Trading Corporation entered into an agreement on behalf of his company with the US Marines (military personnel) who came to the country to help the fight against the Ebola virus.
During the execution of the contract, Kettor rented two pickup trucks belonging to Korea Trading Corporation to the Marines, where he allegedly received US$17,850, but only paid US$1,000 to the company and failed to account for the balance amount of US$16,875.
While Choi was out of the country due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus, Kettor, without his boss’s permission, underpriced and sold five of the company’s vehicles, for which the company suffered the loss of US$13,200, according to the document.
“Kettor, without authority was involved in transportation business with 14 vehicles and generated US$32,630, whereupon you paid US$6,526 to the corporation but failed to account for the balance of US$26,104,” the indictment said.