You are here: HomeBusiness2018 10 20Article 694098

Business News of Saturday, 20 October 2018


Laws exist to stop Ponzi schemes; apply them - Ace Ankomah

Ace Anan Ankomah addressing the issue of Ponzi Schemes at the Economic Dialogue Series play videoAce Anan Ankomah addressing the issue of Ponzi Schemes at the Economic Dialogue Series

Renowned legal practitioner, Ace Ankomah has stressed on the need to trigger the necessary laws to completely deal with the seeming increase in ponzi schemes in the country.

Ace Ankomah who is a Managing Partner at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah law firm insisted Ghana has all the necessary regulatory regime and laws to deal with such acts.

Some of these laws he averred were established even before Ghana began to witness the operations of these Ponzi schemes.

Despite the existence of these laws, some predating the emergence of Ponzi schemes in the country, Ace Ankomah wondered why no person has been punished in relation to such Ponzi schemes.

"The law exists to stop Ponzi schemes. We have had several Ponzi schemes in this country, may I ask a question? Has anyone ever gone to jail? I don't know. Well someone says no but I don't know but these laws have existed before Ponzi schemes. So you should leave here asking your governments why they have never enforced these laws" Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah Managing Partner said.

Fraud and greed in his opinion are two motivating factors that trigger the existence of Ponzi schemes.

However, to curb the menace, the renowned lawyer suggested that Companies Act, Securities and Industries Act and the Minerals and Mining Laws and the Criminal Laws because of the fraudulent aspect of it, should all be put to action.

He asserted that though Ponzi schemes are registered and managed by a known group of people, there are others who are as guilty as them for the roles they played including those who conspired to bring up the idea, those who assisted them in setting up the company, the staff of the Ponzi scheme organisation.

"People who work together for a common purpose to commit crime i.e people who sat down and cooked up Ponzi scheme, they have to be punished for the same level as the substantive crime. Those who help and facilitated and helped them, your crime is called abatement. Today we are sharing it, everyone will have his share. When you dishonestly disappropriate a thing which has been invested in you under a trust - so I gave you my money under a trust and you have spent it because it is now time to pay and you can't pay - the offence is called fraudulent breach of trust. Then there is racketeering which is a structured group which is defined to include companies operates an unlawful activity involving fraud, deceit etc that is also an offence. So if the law was working these shouldn't happen" he explained.

Ace Ankomah charged persons interested in investing in financial organisations to conduct more research into and question their operations.

He noted this is important to safeguard investments and make one put money in secure and safe organisations who operate legally.

He made these remarks whiles speaking at Media General's Economic Dialogue Series on Ponzi Schemes.