The grand jury for Montserrado County has indicted Attorney Garrison Barh, Global Bank former head of Legal Affairs with offenses related to his participation in a fraud scheme that caused his employer to lose US$67,513 and L$448,450 respectively.
Atty. Barh is charged with theft of property, misapplication of entrusted property and money laundering.
He has been released by Criminal Court ‘C’ where he is expected to stand trial after Sky Insurance Company secured a US$200,000 bond on his behalf.
The indictment alleges that from April 2015 until August 2016, Barh, in order to perform legal services, the bank approved and disbursed US$42,000 and L$597,200 to notarize 698 loan documents.
Out of that money, the court records further alleged that defendant Barh notarized 326 loan documents, where he spent US$21,070 and L$148,750, but diverted the balance cash of US$20,930 and L$448,450 to his personal use.
To cover-up his dubious act, the indictment claimed that the defendant prepared a fake receipt in the name of Providence Business Consultancy, which was discovered that said entity does not exist and could not be found anywhere in the country.
On June 13 and 22, and on August 1, 2016, the document alleged that Barh requested and was allowed to sign for, and received US$16,000 as payment made by two of the bank’s delinquent loan customers, Sliver Store and First Communications Limited to the Debt Court in Monrovia, which money he has failed to account for.
Also, on December 3, 2016, Barh, the court claimed, was again asked to sign for and receive US$3,000 from First State Communications Limited, which money his employer did not receive up to present.
“Garrison also signed for and received US$27,083 representing payment made as judgment rendered against H.Q. Taylor and Ecocon by the Debt Court. The money was never presented to the bank,” the indictment stated.
The indictment further alleged that Barh opened several accounts at different commercial banks, including Global Bank in the name of his close relative, where he deposited monies he had collected from the bank’s delinquent loan customers.
According to the document, defendant Barh also used some of the stolen monies to purchase properties including cars, land, houses and other personal items in his own name and that of his relatives.
An indictment is merely an allegation and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If convicted, however, Barh will face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and pay a fine of over US$20,000.
The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation that would require the defendants, upon conviction, to forfeit any property traceable to the offense or used to facilitate the offense, including his cars, land, houses either in his name or any of his relatives’ names.