Dominic Owusu Sekyere, a legal practitioner who defrauded a businessman of $200,000 under the pretext of selling five plots of land to him at Cantonments has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court.
His accomplice, Albert Kwadwo Coleman aka Samuel Yeboah a Marketing Officer, was also sentenced to five years imprisonment by the court presided over by Mrs Malike Wornyah Dey.
This was after the court had found them guilty on the charges of conspiracy and defrauding by false pretenses in a three and half year trial.
Their lawyer Mr George Asamani later told the Ghana News Agency that his clients do not agree with the verdict of the court and would appeal against the conviction.
Two other accomplices namely John Arthur aka Amoah and Dr Jennifer Jane-Brown Aryee are at large.
Prosecuting, Chief Inspector Ophelia Denteh told the court that the complainant Mr Ato Hamilton is a businessman residing at East Legon, Accra.
The prosecution said somewhere in June 2014, Mr Hamilton was contacted on phone by one Samuel Yeboah with telephone number 001942388254 that he (Yeboah) resides in Texas in the United States of America.
According to prosecution, Yeboah stated further that he had been informed that the complainant was looking for a parcel of land to purchase at Cantonments and its environs.
The prosecution said Yeboah said that his girlfriend known as Dr Jennifer Jane-Brown Aryee has five plots of land at Cantonments for sale.
Prosecution said Yeboah then asked Mr Hamilton to contact one Amoah a land agent so Mr Hamilton contacted Amoah who led him to the said parcel of land being offered for sale.
During the visit, prosecution said Mr Hamilton saw an occupant on the land who informed him that he (the occupant) had been asked to vacate the land since the said land was for sale.
Prosecution said Mr Hamilton after demanding documents covering the land, conducted a search at the Lands Commission and it came out that the land had been registered in the name of Dr Jennifer Jane-Brown Aryee.
According to prosecution, Amoah the agent led Mr Hamilton to Dr Aryee where Mr Hamilton demanded and was given the original documents covering the land with a building Plan and same were sent to the Lands Commission for confirmation.
The land documents were confirmed to be genuine. Dr Aryee informed the complainant that the land was being offered for sale at a cost of $2 million and further requested that $500,000 be paid as deposit.
Thereafter Sekyere, the lawyer contacted Mr Hamilton and informed him that the land belong to his client, Dr Aryee and impressed upon him to pay the amount involved for the land to be transferred into his name.
Based on that, a contract sale document was prepared by Sekyere and he collected $200,000 on behalf of Dr Aryee and documents were signed by both parties, prosecution said.
Two weeks later, prosecution said Sekyere started demanding from the complainant the extra $300,000 to him in order to attain the $500,000 deposit.
Prosecution said complainant became suspicious of Sekyere’s behaviour as he had then realised that the real owner of the land was residing outside the country and the owner did not have any idea about sale of the said property.
Mr Hamilton reported the matter to the Police and Sekyere was arrested and during interrogation, Sekyere told the Police that he could not assist in tracing his accomplices.
Prosecution said Sekyere further told the Police that he released the money to Dr Aryee before his arrest. Yeboah was later nabbed whiles in the custody of Bureau of National Investigations.