PLEADS NOT GUILTY

Lawyer denies Sh100m fraud against deceased couple's heirs

He and businessman charged with conspiring to falsify documents, transfer shares; co-accused did not appear, lawyer said he had Covid-19

In Summary

•The court heard that on December 5, 2016, Morara allegedly prepared the transfer deed, being the lawyer for GAK (EPZ) Ltd.

•He was also charged with making a Statutory Declaration dated September 6, 2017 purporting to have been sworn by Narian.

Milimani law courts.
MILIMANI Milimani law courts.
Image: FILE

A Nairobi lawyer and a businessman have been charged with allegedly conspiring to defraud the heirs of a deceased couple of their company shares of more than  Sh100 million.

Lawyer Philemon Morara Apiemi was charged jointly with Shahdadpuri Chanshymam Choithram, who failed to appear in court to plead to 13 counts against him.

Morara, however, pleaded not guilty on Thursday last week  to all seven counts before Milimani law court chief magistrate Francis Andayi.

Choithram’s lawyer told court his client had contracted Covid-19 and was advised to remain in isolation.

He asked court to give him two weeks to plead to the charges.

The charge sheet says Morara and Choithram conspired to defraud the heirs of Suresh Lakhian and Narian Choithram Shahdadpuri (both deceased) their parents' shares in shares a company.

It says they purported to be the director and external lawyer, respectively, for Global Apparels Kenya (EPZ) Limited (GAK (EPZ) Ltd.

The two are accused of transferring 250,000 ordinary shares valued at Sh25 million and 750,000 preferential shares valued at Sh75 million by allegedly falsifying resolutions, a transfer deed and statutory declarations of GAK (EPZ) Ltd.

They allegedly committed the offence between October 16, 2016, and June 13, 2018.

The two are further charged with unlawfully making a transfer deed on June 18, 2018, purporting that the documents were genuine ones signed by Lakhian and Narian.

The court heard that on December 5 2016, Morara allegedly prepared the transfer deed, being the lawyer for GAK (EPZ) Ltd. He was also charged with making a Statutory Declaration dated September 6, 2017, purporting to have been sworn by Narian.

He is also accused of making another Statutory Declaration dated October 14, 2016, sworn by Suresh.

Morara also denied presenting the forged written resolution, statutory declarations dated October 14, 2017, and the transfer deed dated December 5, 2016, to the Registrar of Companies at the Attorney General's chambers.

“On July 13, 2019, he allegedly presented to the Registrar of Companies the forged statutory declaration dated June 7, 2017, and the transfer deed dated June 13, purporting they were genuine," the court was told.

Morara denied all the charges and was released on a cash bail of Sh500,000.

The case will be mentioned on May 12.

(Edited by V. Graham)