A 32-year-old agent of Alpha Lotto Company, who allegedly stole GH₵253,680.00 from the firm has been put before an Accra Circuit Court. Ernest Larbi is facing a charge of falsification of accounts and stealing.
His accomplices, Belinda Afful, a 20-year-old and Madam Theresa Afful, who are both lotto writers, have also been charged with abetment of crime and falsification of accounts.
Larbi and Belinda have pleaded not guilty to their respective charges. Madam Theresa Afful is currently at large.
The Court, presided over by Mrs Kizita Naa Koowa Quarshie admitted Mr Larbi and Belinda to bail, in the sum of GH₵200,000.00 each, with two sureties each.
It directed that one of the sureties should be a Civil Servant earning not less than GH₵2,000.00 a month.
The matter has been adjourned to April 11, 2023.
Chief Inspector Samuel Ahiabor told the Court that the complainant, Mr Evans Kwaah, who resides at Mataheko, in Accra, was a Lotto Agent of Alpha Lotto Company Limited, while the accused persons were residents of Fadama and Anyaa.
The prosecution said Mr Larbi employed Belinda Afful and Madam Theresa Afful as lotto writers of Alpha Lotto Company Limited, without the knowledge of the complainant.
It said Mr Larbi worked under the complainant and was responsible for submitting lotto booklets or tickets from other lotto writers to the company before the winning numbers were drawn, as well as sorting out winning tickets from the booklets that were submitted to him for payment to the respective winners.
The prosecution said on February 20, 2022 Larbi hatched a plan with Belinda and Madam Theresa Afful to falsify the Lotto winning tickets to steal from the Lotto Company.
It said Larbi asked Belinda and Madam Theresa Afful to falsify some of the tickets and submit them to him anytime the winning lotto numbers were drawn for him to present them for payment as tickets staked before the draw.
The prosecution said between the months of February and August 2022, Larbi received fictitious winning tickets from the two accomplices, which he presented to the complainant for payment.
It said the accused persons on several occasions prepared and submitted fraudulent winning tickets to the tune of GH₵253,680.00 which they later shared.
The prosecution said during the annual auditing of the company’s accounts, the shortfall was detected and Larbi was subsequently audited during which he admitted to stealing the amount by falsifying the records of the company.
Larbi further stated in his investigation caution statement that he always gave a 30 per cent share of every deal to Madam Afful.
The prosecution said Larbi refunded an amount of GH₵70,000.00 and pleaded for enough time to pay the remaining GH₵183,680.00 but failed to honour his promise.
By Emelia Nkrumah