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Nairobi businessman charged with Sh230 million fraud

By Richard Munguti September 25th, 2023 2 min read

A trader has been charged with conspiring to defraud heirs of a city building worth Sh230 million.

Nilesh Jayantilal Lalji Kotedia denied before Chief Magistrate Susan Shitubi that he hatched a plot to defraud beneficiaries of the estate of his late father Jayantilal Lalji Mulji Kotedia.

The deceased business mogul had registered a trust.

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The property in dispute had been registered under Lalji Mulji Jetha Trust Deed.

Nilesh faced three charges of conspiracy to defraud beneficiaries of the estate of the deceased, a five-story building along Latema Road in Nairobi county worth Sh230 million.

Nilesh was charged with conspiracy to defraud, fraudulent disposal of trust property, and false affirmation.

The court heard that Nilesh conspired to fraudulently transfer, sell, and convert the said property to personal use when he had not been authorized by the Trust Deed.

He was also charged with selling the property against the wishes of the Trust.

On the second count of fraudulent disposal, Nilesh denied that on or about March 15, 2019, at Catherine Ngunjiri Advocates Office within Nairobi County, being a Trustee of Lalji Mulji Jetha Trust Deed including and not limited to a five storey Building on LR. No. 209/2303 IR No. 81316 along Latema Road within Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD,) valued at Sh230 million with intent to defraud the Beneficiaries of the Trust, fraudulently transferred and sold the said property against the wishes and use authorized by the Trust.

“On December 11, 2012, at Victoria M. Mwangome Advocates office within Nairobi County, before Victoria Mwangome Advocate, a person authorized to administer an oath, you swore an Assent upon a matter of Public concern to the effect of a five storey Building on LR. No. 209/2303 valued at Ksh 230 Million registered in the name of your late father Jayantilal Lalji Mulji Kotedia giving you an authority to convert it to a use not authorized by the Trust Deed,” count three of the charge sheet stated.

After entering a plea, Nilesh urged the court to free him on lenient bail terms, promising to abide by all conditions that will be imposed by the court.

He further stated that he is the breadwinner of his family since his wife had been taken ill and he has been taking care of her.

The businessman also said he has reached out to the complainants who have expressed willingness to settle the matter out of court.

He presented a letter in court indicating negotiations into the matter were ongoing and has since written to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) informing him of the same.

The prosecution did not oppose the release of the accused on bail but urged the court to issue bond terms that are commensurate to the offences facing him.

Ms Shitubi allowed the accused bail plea by ordering him to deposit a bond of Sh2 million with an alternative cash bail of Sh1 million.

The case will be mentioned in two weeks for pre-trial directions.