Criminal Court C Judge Emery S. Paye will today, June 15, 2016, reconvene hearing into allegations of theft involving several employees and co-conspirators at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFK) in Monrovia.
In an attempt to weed out fraud, the Liberian Government through the John F. Kennedy Hospital indicted several persons including staff of the Hospital, First International Bank and Central Bank of Liberia on Theft of property, economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy and money laundering. During hearing proceedings held yesterday, prosecutors indicated that the defense counsels have admitted that they (prosecution) are in the process of photocopying the documents or evidence referred to in their submission and that at the close of business day said documents shall be submitted. But in his ruling, Judge Emery S. Paye mentioned that the court is surprised to hear that some of those exhibits have not been given to the defendants noting the court operates on time and will not acquiesce to a deliberate delay on the part of the prosecution for the trial of these proceedings. Judge Paye further emphasized: “I hereby warn the prosecution not to play with this court when it comes to trial as in the instant case, and the court hereby reluctantly suspend this trial again to resume June 15, 2016”. The grand jury for Montserrado count indicted several individuals with the crimes economic sabotage, theft of property, money Laundering, criminal conspiracy, and facilitation, in flagrant violation of Chapter 15, Sub-chapter “F”, Sections 15.80(a)(b)(c), 15.81 (a)(b)(c ), and 15.82(a)(b)(c),, of the New Penal Law of Liberia. Those indicted include Patrick Konuwa, former Accounts Officer; Boakai J. Varney, former Senior Budget and Accounts Officer; Arnous Rabeah, former IT and Database Supervisor, all of the John F. Kenedy Medical Center. Others include James Ricks, former Clearing Officer of the First International Bank (FIB); Lethia W. Waleh, former Customer Service Officer of the First International Bank (FIB), and Prince Jallah, former Hardware Technician of the IT Department of the Central Bank of Liberia. “That the Defendants herein above named by virtue of their individual and collective roles as narrated, did intentionally, knowingly, willfully and purposely steal, take, convert into their own use the total amount of US$126,300.06(United States Dollars One Hundred Twenty Six Thousand Three Hundred Six Cents) and LD$16,550.416.40550.416.40 (Liberian Dollar Sixteen Million Five Hundred Fifty Thousand Four Hundred Sixteen 40/100) thereby depriving the John F. Kennedy Medical Center of its use”. In Count One of the indictment the grand jurors furthered that between the period March 2015, up to and including January 2016, at the JFK, Co-Defendant Konuwa, then Accounts Officer of the Medical Center, and by virtue of his employment within the said entity, did knowingly and intentionally collude and conspire with Ricks, former Clearing Officer of the First International Bank (FIB) Waleh, former Customer Service Officer, of the First International Bank (FIB) Jallah, of the Central Bank of Liberia, and Freeman, and others yet to be identified, to defraud and did defraud the hospital, the Government of the Republic of Liberia, and the people of Liberia, of the amount of US$5,000.00 (United States Dollars Five Thousand Dollars) and LD$15,774,742 (Liberia Dollars Fifteen Million Seven Hundred Seventy Four Thousand Seven Hundred Forty Two) by designing a criminal scheme. The indictment also states that Co-Defendant Konuwa, facilitated by Co-defendants Welah and Ricks, caused two Personal Checking Accounts to be opened at the First International Bank (Liberia) Limited in the name of the yet to be identified Co-Defendant who purported to be “John Freeman Kennedy”, by generating and using a fictitious identification card to open the said accounts, for the purpose of depositing checks issued in the name of John F. Kennedy Medical Center, which were received by Co-Defendant Konuwa on behalf of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center. He (Konuwa) diverted and deposited into the accounts of the purported John Freeman Kennedy at the First International Bank Liberia Limited, and thereafter withdrew the proceeds from the said accounts through the issuance of several checks in the names of the fictitious person John F. Kennedy yet to be identified, co-defendant Holmes, Morlu and several others to be identified.