How city lawyer lost Sh17.3 million to fraudsters in fake real estate business
A suspected fraudster is facing charges of obtaining money by false pretenses contrary to section 313 of the penal code after allegedly conning a city lawyer of Sh17.3 million in a scheme that ran for more than 18 months.
Mr Jack Bondori is accused of defrauding lawyer Stephanie Wambui Njoroge of the cash on diverse dates between July 14, 2021 and January 3, 2023 while pretending that he could co-opt her in a lucrative real estate business knowing the same as untrue.
Ms Njoroge met Mr Bondori at a carwash in Kasarani Sub County within Nairobi in early 2021 and he introduced himself to her as a businessman in real estate and handling and clearing consignments and the two exchanged contacts.
The complainant believed the suspect was a businessman and hoped to be get clients for her law firm through him. The two continued a mutual communication until June of the same year when Mr Bondori sought a loan from Ms Njoroge and she extended a loan of Sh100,000 to him.
Mr Bondori repaid the loan after a few weeks but later borrowed Sh250,000 from the complainant in July 2021 after telling her that he had a consignment held at a company in Nairobi where he was required to pay before the same is released and she advanced another soft loan to him.
After persistently seeking payment from Mr Bondori, the accused convinced the complainant that she could partner with him and help him with more money to clear the consignment he claimed was being held by a company.
He promised her that she would earn a profit besides being refunded the Sh250,000. The lawyer saw this as an opportunity to make extra cash and gave in not knowing she was getting into another trap.
She went on giving the suspect more money despite the fact that Mr Bondori never paid her the initial loan of Sh250,000. The accused person continued using his accomplices to convince Ms Njoroge into giving him more money, promising her that they would make profits once the said consignment was released.
Some of Mr Bondori’s accomplices claimed that they were employees of the company that was holding Mr Bondori’s consignment awaiting payment by the accused person.
Mr Bondori went on allegedly obtaining different amounts of money from the lawyer which she gave him in cash, mobile money transfers and bank transfers.
The lawyer told investigators that at some point she borrowed money from friends and family members to give to the suspect. One of the people who lent her money is listed as a witness in the case.
Ms Njoroge later opened up to her family about the reality that she had been defrauded and later reported the matter to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Kasarani on May 5, 2023, leading to Mr Bondori’s arrest.
The DCI has obtained Ms Njoroge’s bank statements and M-Pesa transaction messages as exhibits in the case to prove that she gave Mr Bondori her money.
When he appeared before Makadara Law Courts Chief Magistrate Francis Kyambia, the accused denied the charges and was released on a bond of Sh5 million with a surety of a similar amount and an alternative cash bail of Sh1 million. The case will be mentioned on June 8, 2023 before hearing starts on September 18, 2023.