HomeNewsBusiness tycoon pleads not guilty to $2,3m fraud

Business tycoon pleads not guilty to $2,3m fraud

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PIONEEER Transport Company director Simon George Wilburn Rudland, who is facing charges of fraudulently transferring his business partner’s property worth
$2,3 million into his empire, yesterday pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa.

SENIOR COURT REPORTER

Rudland (43) appeared in court as a representative of a firm called Ramsway Investment which entered into an acknowledgement of debt with the complainant, Future Chirango Muvirimi.

Muvirimi and his wife, Petronella, are directors and shareholders of Leonfer Investment, Deepstar Investment and Downtown Petroleum and also own Lot 1 of Stand 21 Oval Park Township.

In his defence through his lawyer Advocate Erick Matinenga, Rudland denied ever effecting transfer of the said property into his empire.

“Consequently, he (Rudland) could not in the circumstances, make any misrepresentation to the Registrar of Deeds for the purpose of transferring the properties in question,” Matinenga said.

“At all times, and to the extent that this may be relevant, accused (Rudland) through a legal practitioner/conveyancer (Mark Stunner) gave the said legal practitioner/conveyancer instructions to effect the transfer concerned. Legitimate documents for the transfer were tendered and the legal practitioner/conveyancer a State witness confirms this.”

Matinenga further said there was no allegation of any collusive dealing between the legal practitioner/conveyancer, Stunner and Rudland.

In his evidence in chief, Muvirimi told the court that after signing an acknowledgment of debt between himself and Rudland, he received close to $700 000 of the $1 million loan he had sourced from Rudland, but never authorised the sale of his four properties he had surrendered as surety.

Muvirimi said he later realised his properties ownership had been transferred through fake signatures signed on the resolutions documents.

But Rudland maintained that this prosecution “was malicious and mala fide (in bad faith)”.

“It could only have been instituted at the instance of the complainant in order to settle an unfounded and ill-conceived civil suit against accused,” Matinenga said.

Rudland admitted that he entered into a business relationship with Muvirimi for the supply and purchase of fuel.

In the process, he said Muvirimi asked him, around July 2009, to make a loan available to him and he consented.

“Complainant failed to meet his obligation in terms of the acknowledgement of debt. Demand was legally made and the properties were ‘sold’ and transferred in accordance with the acknowledgement of debt,” Rudland said.

Oliver Marwa is representing the State.

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