Nduom Challenger Spills Beans In US Court

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom

The Plaintiff assignor pursuing the Nduom family over the alleged loss of depositors’ funds, running into over $100 million, in a court in Chicago, United States, has filed another response explaining why the defendants cannot say they are not liable for the loss of the funds.

Following a motion to dismiss the case filed by the Nduom family, the plaintiff, Birim Group LLC, has responded forcefully by revealing that the Nduom family set up a company called International Business Solutions (IBS) and allegedly used it as a conduit to ‘launder’ depositors’ funds from Ghana to the United States.

Birim is alleging that majority of the funds were transferred to IBS, headed by Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom’s son Kweku, also a defendant in the case, and the funds appeared to have been moved from various sources in Ghana, mostly Gold Coast Fund Management, Gold Coast Securities Limited (Main Operation), Ghana Growth Fund Company Limited, GN Bank Ltd, GN Life Premium, GN Life Assurance Co. Ltd. and other sources of the Nduom conglomerate.

According to Birim, the funds after hitting the accounts of IBS, were largely, moved to a Chicago Community Bank owned by the same defendants.

Main Writ

On the writ, which is also called complaint in the U.S. federal court system, Birim cites Paa Kwesi Nduom, aka Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, Papa Kwesi Nduom, Kwesi P. Nduom, an individual; GN Bank, an Illinois federally chartered financial institution; International Business Solutions, LLC, a Virginia limited liability company; Groupe Nduom USA LLC; a Nevada company; GN USA LLC, a Nevada company; GN Money, LLC, a Nevada company; Groupe Nduom, a Ghana company; GN Bank, a Ghana company; Gold Coast Fund Management, aka Blackshield Capital Management, a Ghana company; Yvonne Nduom, an individual; Nana Kweku Nduom, an individual; Edjah Nduom, an individual, Nana Aba Nduom, an individual; Robert Klamp, an individual; James L. Buckner, an individual; Lisa Finch, an individual; Francis Baffuor, an individual; William C. Goodall, an individual; Donald Davidson, an individual and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, as the defendants.

20 Charges

The case with No: 1:20 cv 07198, Birim is demanding jury trial and has pressed 20 charges against the defendants.

The charges include Federal Civil RICO (18 U.S C. § 1962) Money Laundering, Wire and Mail Fraud, Conspiracy to Violate Federal Civil RICO (18 U.S.C. § 1962(d)), Breach of Contract, Fraud – Promissory Fraud, Fraud – Intentional Misrepresentation, Fraud – Negligent Misrepresentation and Fraud – Concealment.

The rest as filed include Negligence, Conversion, Interference with Contractual Relations, Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage, and Breach of Contract.

Birim Counter-Attack

“In this case, the Nduom defendants set up Groupe Nduom, a company they called a ‘multinational family holding business of Ghanaian and American origin’ and under the ‘holding’ company, they set up a bank (GN Bank) and an investment firm (GCFM) to collect customer funds. Defendants then set up in Virginia, a conspiring companion company IBS, wholly-owned by the Groupe Nduom holding company; to serve as a receptacle for the funds they intended to launder; in addition, they set up several companies under the Groupe Nduom ‘umbrella’ in both Ghana and the U.S. to which they appointed themselves as non-independent, self-dealing directors and executives,” the plaintiff filed whilst responding to the motion by Dr. Nduom to dismiss the case.

The plaintiff continued in their response to Dr. Nduom’s motion that “the bank then entered into a ‘Management and Operations’ agreement with IBS under terms which on its face were unreasonably favourable to IBS, whose CEO is Nduom’s son, Kweku; they created false and make-work transactions between IBS and the various companies, and then laundered through the wire system bank depositors’ funds by paying exorbitant above-market rate fees to IBS disguised as ‘management service fees’.”

Birim further claimed that, “These funds belonged to depositors of the bank and investment firm, including assignors. The bank and investment firm were eventually stripped of depositor funds to the tune of $68,000,000, some of which the Nduom defendants used to invest in a Chicago community bank.”

GN Depletion

“Defendants’ scheme resulted in a depletion of GN Bank and GCFM’s deposits to the point where they are unable to pay assignors any of the funds they invested or deposited. The respective regulators of the bank and investment firm revoked the two financial institution defendants’ operating licences (GN, GCFM) with one regulator concluding that the books and records of GN Bank show it ‘mobilises deposits for its related companies,’ and IBS was one of the entities which received those depositor funds.”

Birim held that, “In fact, the Complaint alleges facts to show that IBS’ website specifically states that IBS exists solely to ‘provide responsive, effective and quality procurement and consulting services to Groupe Nduom companies’,” adding that  “in sum, IBS serves no business purpose other than to charge exorbitant fees for make-work services to syphon off depositors’ funds.”

Mail & Wire Fraud

The plaintiff insisted that “these are particularised allegations of mail and wire fraud against these defendants. They are not lumped together, neither are they lacking in dates, time or content,” adding “Exhibit Document 1-1 provides the various dates the wire transfers were executed; it shows the initiating party and to whom the funds were sent. Consequently, the allegations sufficiently give notice of the plaintiff’s claims; they are proper and comply with the rule requiring fraud to be pleaded with particularity.”

In one day, on July 2, 2018, the plaintiff said for instance that “IBS syphoned off $3,500,000 through the fraudulent use of inflated invoices to transfer depositors’ funds to the United States.”

“Clearly, and contrary to defendants’ claim, the complaint and its Exhibits – which are incorporated as part of the allegations – identify the participating defendants (IBS, GCFM), the date of the transaction, the amounts illegally transferred and the fact that the transactions were through the wire transfer network,” Birim insisted, adding “It is reasonable for the court to infer that IBS, one of the U.S. defendants, generated an invoice either through email or mail for the payment of the $3,500,000. How else would the invoice get communicated to the co-conspirators in Ghana?”

Racketeering Activities

Birim said the evidence they have provided contradicted Dr. Nduom’s ‘motion to dismiss’ that sought to say there were no actions directed by the U.S. defendants and said the exhibits they have filed “illustrates the pattern of racketeering activities, and the indictable actions defendants did to defraud and strip its customers – assignors included – of their assets.”

“In fact, page 11 of the Exhibit, Document 1-1, shows a total of $75,638,242.84 in transactions, some of which are not designated as payments to IBS, but most of which are generated and paid out of GCFM, GN Bank accounts, as well as and other Nduom controlled companies which formed part of the RICO enterprise.”

Political Smear

Birim said that Dr. Nduom is using the ‘political smear’ claim “as a shield for the very serious money laundering, wire and mail fraud allegations” and described it as “illogical, obtuse and fatuous.”

By Ernest Kofi Adu