In a landmark ruling, David Aseye Tay, the Managing Director of Renaizance Oil Limited, an unlicensed Oil Marketing Company, has been convicted on 23 charges of defrauding by false pretense, amounting to over GHc27.9 million.
The amount GHc27.9 million in 2018 was equivalent to $6 million when $1 was exchanged at GHc 4.67.
The verdict was delivered after a full two-year trial at the Criminal Division of the High Court in Accra, presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo.
Despite initially pleading not guilty, Tay was found guilty on all counts, which include defrauding by false pretense, issuance of false cheques, money laundering, among others.
The charges against Tay stemmed from his false representation to a licensed Bulk Distribution Company (BDC), Misyl Energy Company Ltd., who are importers of finished petroleum products and is owned by Dr. Nick Danso Adjei.
Prosecutors in court revealed that in January 2018, Renaizance Oil was introduced to Misyl Energy, and Tay subsequently entered into negotiations with the General Manager of the complainant’s company to lift products in the name of three other Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs): Goodness Energy Limited, Compass Oleum Limited, and G&G Oil Company Limited.
During the negotiations, the prosecution argued that Tay knew that two of the OMCs, Goodness Energy and Compass Oleum, did not belong to him. Nonetheless, he misrepresented to these OMCs that he had imported petroleum products and could supply them from oil farms belonging to certain BDCs. The two OMCs made full payments to Tay, expecting the products to be delivered, but he failed to fulfill his obligations.
The court heard that Tay intentionally stopped making payments to Misyl Energy, amounting to GHc27,987,250.00, resorting to issuing dishonored cheques to cover the amount owed. Additionally, he used the proceeds from defrauding Misyl Energy to purchase G&G Oil, another OMC, and acquired various properties.
The fraudulent activities eventually aroused suspicion within Misyl Energy, prompting its Chairman, Dr. Nick Danso Adjei, to report the matter to the police for investigation. During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that Tay had issued a post-dated cheque worth GHc250,000.00, which was later dishonored.
Justice Lydia Osei Marfo who has deferred Tay’s sentencing to May 29, following the court’s order for restitution with the complainant as part of his mitigation plea. The convict has been remanded into prison custody until the sentencing date.
This court case is said to have brought to light the fraudulent activities of the convict David Aseye Tay who is alleged to have defrauded other players within the oil and gas industry including a doctor who is said to have passed away after he succeeded in defrauding him of a $1 million. He is also said to be owing the revenue authority running into hundreds of thousands.
But this time unfortunately for David Aseye Tay now a convict he took his activities to the wrong company hoping to defraud them to the tune of $6 million dollars but Dr. Nick Danso Adjei handed him over for the law to take its course.
The conviction of David Aseye Tay sends a strong message about Ghana’s commitment to combating financial fraud within the oil industry. As this high-profile case continues to unfold, the outcome of the sentencing and subsequent legal actions will be closely watched by both the business community and the public.