By A Correspondent| Michael Gordon Smith aka Mike Smith, a beleaguered Harare entrepreneur, is now confronted with 40 charges related to defrauding a co-director and fellow shareholder at MA Auto Spares.
Smith initially appeared before the courts in February of this year, accused of defrauding Michael Asher of almost US$22,000 and R124,000.
He appeared in court on 20 November 2022 where his defence lawyers requested for further particulars carrying the evidence to be paginated before they can officially accept and acknowledge receipt.
The presiding magistrate warned the defence lawyers against delaying the court’s time by asking for more to be done by the state.
The rulling on the defence council application was handed on 12th December 2023 with the magistrate throwing out the application on the basis that pagination is not a requirement at law in criminal matters.
The accused who is now facing 22 more charges of defrauding MA Auto Suppliers ,T/A Mr Cruiser, of at least US$38 000 and R124 000 and theft of trust property, in addition to the 16 counts he was facing when he was initially charged.
Smith is currently out on ZWL $100 bail.
He first brought before the Court in February this year, charged with defrauding MA Auto Suppliers represented by Michael Scot Asher, who is the complainant in the case.
The offences were allegedly committed while Mr Asher was away in Australia during the Covid-19 era when travelling was restricted.
However the court gallery were shocked with the amount of evidence that was produced by the investigating officer nailing Smith in the matter.
Key evidence was extracted from several devices by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Cyber Lab and prove key to the case.
Should all charges against the accused be proven, he is likely to face a lengthy jail sentence, according to the State prosecutor.
Section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act; [Chapter 9:23] states:
“Any person who makes a misrepresentation (a) intending to deceive another person or realizing that there is a real risk or possibility of deceiving another person; and (b) intending to cause another person to act upon the misrepresentation to his or her prejudice, or realizing that there is a real risk or possibility that another person may act upon the misrepresentation to his or her prejudice; shall be guilty of fraud if the misrepresentation causes actual prejudice to another person or is potentially prejudicial to another person, and be liable to (i) a fine not exceeding level fourteen or not exceeding twice the value of any property obtained by him or her as a result of the crime, whichever is the greater; or (ii) imprisonment for a period not exceeding thirty-five years; or both.”
The matter has been postponed to January 15 , 2024 for continuation of trial.