FRAUD

Four hackers found guilty of defrauding Judiciary Sh80m

Theft discovered after bank called Finance Director to the clarify transactions.

In Summary
  • They were charged alongside nine others including five Judiciary staffers who were acquitted of the allegations for lack of evidence.
  • The Prosecution called a total of 25 witnesses including the former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Sholei.

Third accused Duncan Otieno Bokella and ninth accused Martin Murathe at city court on Friday after they were convicted of defrauding judiciary Sh80 million./CORAZON WAFULA
Third accused Duncan Otieno Bokella and ninth accused Martin Murathe at city court on Friday after they were convicted of defrauding judiciary Sh80 million./CORAZON WAFULA

Four businessmen who hacked into the Judiciary Finance systems and requested the National Treasury to pay Sh80 million to fictitious firms that supplied air to courts have been found guilty of fraud and theft.

 

They were found guilty of theft and forgery by City Court chief magistrate Roselyne Onganyo after conspiring at an unknown place to defraud the judiciary of Sh80,013,302 in September 2013.

 The four are Henry Achoka, Dancun Bokela, Rueben Kirongothi and Martin Murathe.

Oganyo said the prosecution has proved its case against the four businessmen.

They were charged alongside nine others including five Judiciary staffers who were acquitted of the allegations for lack of evidence.

The judiciary officers are officers Ruth Wanjiku, Joab Ooko, Boru Guyo Benjamin Mutuku and Bennedict Abonyo.

Oganyo said there was no prior communication between the judiciary officers and the convicts and their allies – either technologically or otherwise and they only came to know each other while in court.

Others acquitted were traders Fredrick Tsofa, Ann Gathoni, Nancy Mumbi and Christine Wambugha.

Oganyo said the prosecution failed to prove its case against them.

The Prosecution called a total of 25 witnesses including the former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Sholei and Treasury official Kelvin Mutinda who opened IFMIS accounts before closing its case.

 

The theft was discovered after CFC Bank called the then Finance Director Benedict Omollo to confirm whether the transactions were genuine.

 

The proprietor of Jepco Cleaning Services Paul Rambaya whose firm is contracted to clean judiciary premises received undue payment of Sh5,719,466, returned the money and reported to Omollo. Omollo reported the fraud to DCI.

Chief inspector Melly Kirwa of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations discovered that 11 firms had received different amounts from the National Treasury through the Integrated Financial Management Information System [IFMIS] requesting after a fraudulent letter requested for the cash.

The firms received different amounts between Sh2.8 and Sh12 million.

They include Bonarza Agencies Ltd which received Sh 12 million, Integrated Real Estate Services which received Sh 7,590,000 and Meerkats (K) Ltd which was paid Sh6,661,790 for supplying nothing.

Bonarza Agencies belonging to Achoka received Sh12 million and Coldax Agencies belonging to Bokella received Sh2,853,148.

Other firms are Meerkats [K] Limited of Kirongothi received Sh6,661,790 and Murathe's Wiliams Longistics which received Sh3,910,722.

The convicts were found guilty of different counts of attempt to steal, stealing but all were guilty of handling stolen property.

“In the same breath, I find that the prosecution successfully proved the alternative charge to count 11 of handling stolen property contrary to the law,” ruled Oganyo.

The traders withdrew the money and could not satisfactorily tell the court where they received the money from what was being paid for.

Achoka absconded the court from December 7, 2015, and the court proceeded in his absence since then. He never gave any defence from the charges against him.

Kirongothi who received Sh12 million had fled to Rwanda where he was arrested by Interpol and at the time of judgement, he had not been presented to local police.