The Finance and Economic Crime Court last Thursday ordered Frederick Bosompem, a Ghanaian based in Belgium, to refund Euros 335,503.06 and GH¢10,000, he fraudulently received from two Belgian women.
The court said Anne Vigneron and her compatriot led evidence to show the defendant deceived them in what was commonly known as romance scam, via the internet, until they parted with the sums of money, which they claimed.
Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, the presiding judge noted in her judgement that the plaintiffs had been able to prove their case against the defendant.
She added that the money be refunded with interest at the prevailing commercial bank rate from December 31, 2008, till date.
The plaintiffs filed a civil suit against Bosompem in 2016, and claimed that they met Bosompem, who identified himself as Frederick Amando, a white Englishman on a dating website.
According to the plaintiffs, the defendant told them he dealt in cars.
The plaintiffs said that after exchanging emails for a while, under the pretext of his inability to pay taxes, the defendant asked them at different times to send them monies which they did.
In his defence, counsel for Bosompem, Mr Godwin Kudzo Edudzi Tamakloe, denied the case of the plaintiffs.
The defendant stated that in or around the year 2008, he met the plaintiff in Accra and they became friends, which friendship eventually resulted in a love affair.
He contended that the matter of the payment of money he received from the plaintiffs had been fully dealt with at the Kasoa Police Station.
Justice Asare-Botwe said although the defendant showed an intention to defend the suit, he did not carry same out.
She said Bosompem initially claimed the sums of money being claimed had completely been paid off in full and final satisfaction of his liability to the plaintiffs, but he failed in the proceedings after filing his defence, despite numerous hearing notices to his lawyer.
"The said lawyer never refused service nor notified the court that he was no longer the counsel on record," the judge stated.
Justice Asare-Botwe stated that a party who is aware of the hearing of a case, but chose to stay away out of his own decision could not complain that he was not given a hearing.
She said in view of the deliberate failure of the defendant to be part of the proceedings, it is quite clear that no evidence was led to confirm his assertion that the issues have been settled by the funds being paid in full at the Kasoa Police Station.