Assistant Accountant handed an 11-year Bankruptcy Restrictions Order for misappropriating funds
THE High Court granted an 11 year Bankruptcy Restriction Order for an Assistant Accountant who misappropriated €160,510 from his employer.
On 13 July 2016, Kofi Baffoe-Okine (30), unemployed of Harrow, Middlesex, received an 11 year bankruptcy restriction order. In making the order, the Court accepted evidence presented by the Insolvency Service, which showed, he had abused his position of trust – an assistant accountant – by misappropriating funds, causing a loss to his former employer, resulting in a claim in bankruptcy of £151,067. As a result of the loss, Baffoe-Okine’s former employer petitioned for his bankruptcy.
Baffoe-Okine is therefore bound by the restrictions set out in insolvency law that a bankrupt is subject to until they are discharged from bankruptcy – normally 12 months – until 2027. In addition, he cannot manage or control a company during this period without leave of court.
A bankruptcy order was made against Baffoe-Okine on 1July 2015, following a petition filed by K2 Human Capital Solutions Limited and K2 Partnering Solutions SA, Baffoe-Okine’s former employer. The total deficiency was £152,139.60, of which £151,067 was owed to his former employer.
The court heard that Baffoe-Okine was employed as an assistant accountant by the K2 Human Capital Solutions Limited on 18 October 2010. His role involved the processing of payments to consultants subcontracted to K2 Group European Division. As such, he held a position of trust with his former employer.
Between 19 April 2012 and 23 July 2012, he initiated eight unauthorised payments totalling €160,510 from K2 Partnering Solutions SA bank account, without authority and to bank accounts which were not legitimate consultants engaged by the K2 Group.
The action of instigating these payments breached the fiduciary duties he owed to companies whose funds he has access to only by virtue of his employment, in particular the Swiss company, K2 Partnering Solutions SA.
Baffoe-Okine claims to have only personally benefited from €15,720 of the €160,510 misappropriated, of which he states the funds were used to support his living costs when he absconded to Ghana between August 2012 and December 2014. However the Official Receiver has been unable to verify this account.
Commenting on the case, Andrew Stanley, the Official Receiver from Kent said: “Mr Baffoe-Okine held a position of trust with his former employer, which his subsequently breached by carrying out actions of dishonesty. The Insolvency Service looks closely at individuals and takes action where wrongdoing is uncovered.
“These proceedings should serve to protect the public from any future misconduct by restricting Mr Baffoe-Okine from obtaining credit and acting in the management of a company. The period of restrictions is in the top bracket (the maximum being 15 years) to reflect the seriousness of the case and the high level of the victims that have suffered a loss.”