HomeLocal NewsThree spared jail over for $6m fraud

Three spared jail over for $6m fraud

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Three Harare men yesterday escaped jail after receiving a wholly-suspended 12-month sentence each following their conviction for fraudulently acquiring a local company and properties valued at $6 million.

The trio — medical doctor Christopher Harry Bruce Macquire (57), his brother, a lawyer Phillip Michael Macquire, and chartered accountant Thomas Antony Wisdom — fraudulently removed Bernard Mahara Mutanga and his wife Tsitsi from the directorship of their firm, Twairob Investment.

The court also convicted the three for booting out Mutanga from a piece of land measuring 26 hectares registered under Gurley Barton, which was in the custody of Twairob Investment, but had been fraudulently seized by the accused.

In passing sentence, regional magistrate William Bhila said although the three men had committed a serious offence, effective imprisonment was not proper in the circumstances and concurred with prosecutor Michael Reza who urged the court to consider a suspended jail term.

“Accused persons appointed themselves as directors and it was a cunning way of doing things. I agree with the State submission that accused persons are very useful members of society, incarcerating them would not serve any purpose and conviction alone is enough,” Bhila said before suspending the 12-month jail term.

The court heard that sometime in October 2003, Mutanga bought Twairob Investment from Johnstone and Nasho who consequently resigned as director and secretary respectively.

During the same year, Mutanga bought Gurley Barton from the accused’s mother, Cicily Jean Francis Macquire, and the property was transferred to Twairob Investment. However, three years later, the accused Christopher and Wisdom forged Mutanga and Tsitsi’s signatures on annual returns in respect of Twairob Investment to facilitate change of directors and secretary of the firm.

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