Cerina Rose-Marie Gbargba, the dismissed Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC), yesterday confessed that she gave the hospital’s administrative password to Rebeah Arnaus, one of the four defendants being tried for allegedly stealing over US$1 million from the entity, without any authorization.
Gbargba’s open admittance resulted from Arnaus’s earlier denial during testimony in Criminal Court ‘C’ that she did not give him the password.
It was based on his denial that Gbargba was invited by prosecutors to refute Arnaus’s statement, though she had also testified in the matter before yesterday’s appearance.
Gbargba was at the time responsible to supervise the collection of fees for services rendered patients, and to deposit said fees into the hospital’s accounts at the various banking institutions.
Some of the banks are the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), First International Bank (FIB, now GN Bank), and Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI). When the money went missing, Gbargba was not recommended for prosecution, but for dismissal.
The hospital claimed that it was the administrative password the defendants, including Patrick Konuwa, then Account Officer, used to allegedly withdraw the money from the entity’s accounts at the various banking institutions in 2015.
In her testimony, Gbargba told the court that she gave the administrative password to defendant Arnaus in confidence due to his trustworthiness as an IT specialist at the hospital.
“We were advised not to give the administrative password to any of our staff, but I did that because I have confidence in him,” she admitted.
About her action, Gbargba claimed she did it because Arnaus informed her that the Quickbooks software was not functioning properly, and he needed to update it.
During that time, Gbargba alleged that Arnaus informed her that he was finding it difficult to use his department’s server to update Quickbooks on her computer. Therefore, she said, he needed the administrative password to do the work.
“I emailed the administrative password to Arnaus and he likewise acknowledged receiving it by replying to my email,” Gbargba claimed.
The case continues.