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I took Sh400k from Irene Gakwa’s bank account – Fiance admits

Nathan J. Hightman, who is being investigated in the disappearance of Ms Irene Gakwa, a Kenyan woman who went missing in the United States of America (USA), has admitted to taking Sh428,621 from her account.

He pleaded guilty to unlawfully using her credit card after she went missing in February 2022.

The theft was discovered when Ms Gakwa’s family went through her bank account details after she was reported missing.

As a result of his plea, Mr Hightman was jailed as he awaits sentencing for the offences.

“Hightman, 39, pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to felony counts of theft, unlawful use of a credit card and crimes against intellectual property for taking $3,666.46 from Gakwa’s bank account, charging $3,230.65 to two of her credit cards and deleting her Gmail account without permission,” reported Gillette News.

Also read: Irene Gakwa: Over 30 witnesses to testify in financial crime case of missing Kenyan in US

District Judge James M. “Mike” ordered Mr. Hightman to be jailed and accepted his plea, dismissing an additional count of theft and crimes against intellectual property, per the plea negotiations.

Under US law, the maximum sentence for each of the theft and unlawful use of a credit card convictions is up to 10 years in prison, a Sh1,000,000 fine, or both, while the maximum for the crimes against intellectual property count is three years in prison and/or a Sh300,000 fine.

Ms Gakwa’s family reported her missing on March 20, 2022. The police consider Mr Hightman to be a “person of interest” in her disappearance.

The family has demanded that investigations be completed to find Ms Gakwa’s whereabouts.

As part of his plea, Mr Hightman must pay restitution for the full value of the money stolen from Ms Gakwa’s account.

It is worth noting that Mr Hightman claimed he has never heard from Ms Gakwa since she left their home. Both Henkes and Lamb, Mr Hightman’s attorneys, refused to comment on the matter.

Also read: Irene Gakwa: What we know so far about the Kenyan nurse missing in the US