Thu, 25 Jan 2024 Crime & Punishment

Tax Evasion:  Accountant granted GHC2 million bail 

  Thu, 25 Jan 2024
Tax Evasion: Accountant granted GHC2 million bail

Michael Sumnaya Adedina, an accountant with Medeena Consult Limited accused of forging Ghana Revenue Authority receipts to evade tax of GHC2,495,778 has been granted bail.

Adedina was granted GHC2 million cedis bail with three sureties to be justified by an Accra Circuit Court when he made his third appearance.

“I have read through the motion for bail and affidavit in opposition filed by the state. I am inclined to admit the accused person to bail,” the trial judge said.

The court presided over by Mrs Afua Owusua Appiah ordered Adedina to report fortnightly to the case investigator.

Additionally, the court ordered the accused person to deposit his passport at the court registry.

It directed the prosecution to file their disclosures and adjourned the matter to February 21, 2024.

At the court, Mr Adu Gyamfi, an Assistant State Attorney represented the state while Mr Nsiah Opoku and two other lawyers represented the accused person.

Adedina has been charged with unauthorised attempts to collect tax, forgery of official document documents, stealing, fraudulent breach of trust and making false or misleading statements contrary to Section 74 of the Revenue Administration Act 2016 (Act 915).

He has pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Evans Kesse told the court earlier that the complainant in the case is the Country Manager of BMG Infrastructure Company Limited located at Tarkwa in the Western Region.

The prosecutor said the company was a foreign-owned mining waste processing company established in Tarkwa and registered with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

It said Adedina approached the complainant and introduced himself as a professional accountant, who could prepare all their accounting bookings and represent their interest professionally.

Consequently, the company outsourced all matters relating to accounting including statutory payments and the preparation of various tax types with the GRA and Social Security and National Insurance Trust for its employees to Adedina.

The prosecution said since his appointment in 2021, Adedina prepared and collected funds from the company at the end of every month to pay for the various tax handles.

Following each payment, Adedina provided the complainant with legitimate GRA receipts as confirmation payment.

The prosecution stated that on May 31, 2023, the GRA performed a tax audit into the activities of BMG Infrastructure Limited and discovered a tax debt of GHC2,495,778.00 against the firm, raising suspicion.

The prosecutor stated that as a result, the company initiated investigations to determine the cause of the huge liability.

The investigations revealed that Adedina had over the period failed to pay all the monies he collected from BMG as taxes to GRA.

Based on that, the prosecution said a report was submitted to the GRA via GIPC with the relevant receipts for verification and it turned out that Adedina had falsified GRA's official receipts.

According to the prosecutor, following the worrying development, an official complaint was made on December 29, 2023, to the investigative wing of GRA and Adedina was arrested for investigations.

In his caution statement to the Police, the accused person admitted the crime and stated he downloaded the GRA payment receipts, modified them to include tax value and submitted the fake copies to the complainant as if actual taxes had been paid.

The prosecution said Adedina disclosed that he used part of the money to buy concessions for mining purposes, which went bad.

According to the prosecution, Adedina used a portion of the money to purchase a Toyota Hilux Pickup truck for GHC650,000 and a Lexus SUV for GHC55,000.

The prosecution told the court that Adedina used some of the revenue to build a four-bedroom home in Tarkwa Aboso.

“Further investigation is underway to identify those assets,” the prosecution added.