Prosecute Ponzi Schemers Now – Experts Charge Gov’t
Followers of financial sectors have probably gotten used to the bucketful of red inks that some financial disasters have raked in recent times.
The collapse of local banks, and the unfortunate events of Ponzi schemers have left many jaw-dropped. Nonetheless, experts are without grudge looking for ways to clean the mess―to mitigate the impact of such financial disasters.
They have therefore made a clarion call on government to as a matter of urgency, enforce the laws and ensure that operators of Ponzi schemes are not left unpunished.
According to investment lawyer, Ace Ankomah, the reason, these schemers have had a leeway in defrauding some members of the public, is because, regulators have failed in going hard on perpetrators.
“The fault, dear Ghana, is not in our stars, is not in faith, is not in a curse or any spiritual force, it is in ourselves that we are unwilling, unable and unprepared to enforce our laws.”
Mr. Ankomah was speaking, yesterday, at the maiden economic dialogue organized by the Media General Group, themed “Investment in the Face of Ponzi Schemes: How Do we Clean the Mess?”
He argues that if the first scammer had been prosecuted, it would have served as a deterrent to others and the issues would not be as brazen as it is today.
He therefore called on all and sundry to get acquainted with the laws that guide such businesses in Ghana so, they do not fall a prey in the coming years.
The company’s Act, Securities Industry Act, Minerals and Mining Laws and the Criminal Laws must all begin to work, the lawyer stressed.
You Lose, You Lose
Ghana has seen numerous fraudulent schemes in the financial sector with government coming to the rescue of some victims by paying certain amounts to lessen the impact of their losses.
But Vice President of policy think-tank IMANI Africa, Mr. Kofi Bentil says Government has no legal nor moral responsibility to pay people their lost investment.
Taking his turn at the dialogue, Mr. Bentil said Ghanaians must get rid of the ‘emotional notion’ that they would be sorted by government when they get jilted.
“I’m aware certain people were paid some money…one of these days somebody should sue them for wasting our [tax payers] money,” he noted.
The dialogue was aimed at cleaning the messes created by such Ponzi Schemers and also to psych the general public on some features of a Ponzi Scheme.
“If you are not convinced in 5 minutes about an investment, it is fraudulent,” Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, Alhassan Andani advised.
One of the most notable elements of a Ponzi scheme is that the returns investors get are astronomically high and experts advise, the public run away from such promises.
“If you have indeed a scheme that can pay 200% a year and government itself is paying 19%, it is revolutionary; we should make you president,” Mr. Ankomah said sarcastically while referring to some unnamed schemers.
He further advised potential investors to make proper inquiries before making investments with their hard-earned money.
“So, when you go to the companies, don’t be impressed by the Certificate of Incorporation and the Certificate to Commence a Business that you see on the wall, can you ask for their regulations, if they don’t give it to you, go to the company’s registry… and ask for the company’s regulation,” he advised.
Savannah Brokerage, DKM and God Is Love are recent Ponzi Schemes that have hit the country.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org