When Mary Wambui and her husband Moses Gitari received Sh19.2million as compensation for their parcel land, they thought they could finally change their lives for the better.
But Margaret Muthoni (Wambui’s cousin) had other ideas.
She introduced Wambui to ‘money multiplication scheme’ and by the end of it, the couple had lost all their money.
Muthoni, together with her colleagues Alex Mugambi and Cyrus Mwaura, told the couple that they would multiply their money and increase it to Sh56.1million at a cost of Sh1.2million.
Oblivious of what they were getting into, the couple agreed and started withdrawing money from their bank account and handing it over to the fraudsters who claimed to know someone at De La Rue.
At first, the fraudsters claimed their ‘inside man’ at the company had asked for Sh400,000 for the job but later said due to its complexity he would need an extra Sh800,000.
Gitari went and withdrew the money (totaling Sh1.2million) and gave his wife to hand it over to the ‘officer’.
It is reported that they started printing the money but since the notes were not coming out with the desired quality, the couple was asked to give more money to facilitate the purchase of specialized chemicals.
They also gave some Sh100,000 as facilitation fee.
The couple was told that Sh800,000 was successfully printed and Gitari later went to withdraw Sh3million in the hope that he would make more money.
This continued for a while until he lost all his money.
The fraudsters (Muthoni, Alex and Cyrus) were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and obtaining money by false pretenses by a Makadara law court and will be sentenced on Thursday.
“I do find that the intention to defraud was clearly proven and that it was that the accused persons would double the complainant’s money. This amounts to defrauding because only the government has the legal tender to process money,” ruled Chief Magistrate Heston Nyaga.
“I don’t think that it matters that the scheme itself was illegal from the word go. The accused are the ones who induced the complainants to join the scheme to double (the) money. In their foolishness, for lack of a better word, the complainants fell into the snare – sink, line and hook.”