A businessman who reportedly pocketed millions from hundreds of unsuspecting victims he tricked into investing in a greenhouse venture has been charged with fraud.
Peter Wangai Muriithi, the director of Goldenscape Greenhouse Ltd. was charged with conning more than 15 people of varying amounts between 380,000 and Sh3.7 million each.
He committed the alleged crimes at his offices located at Kimathi House between 2018 and 2020 promising victims that they would be earning Sh275,000 from each greenhouse after every six months.
One of the victims Nancy Wanjeri Githuku lost Sh3.79 million to Muriithi between April 2018 and December 2019 expecting to be earning Sh975,000 from three greenhouses after every six months.
Justin Kiriinya paid Sh1,520,000 for four greenhouses and expected to earn Sh1.1 million twice a year.
The businessman is also facing additional charges of issuing bad cheques after allegedly issuing two cheques of Sh275,000 to some of the fraud victims.
Muriithi is also charged with conning Joyce Mandako Wanyonyi of Sh1.4 million between July and August 2019 pretending he was promising her that she would earn Sh 975,000 thereafter.
In one of the cases, Muriithi is accused of obtaining Sh700,000 for two greenhouses from Edith Kinya pretending that he could pay her Sh275,000 after every six months in return for investments on each of the two greenhouses.
He denied all the charges before chief magistrate Martha Mutuku of Milimani law courts.
He claimed, through a lawyer, that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations had confiscated all his properties, frozen his accounts, and seized properties owned by his firms and appealed for lenient bail and bond terms.
But lawyer Tom Musundi representing more than 1000 of his alleged victims who wanted to come in as interested parties claimed two of Muriithi’s associates have fled the country and sought to have him admitted into stringent bail and bond terms.
Musundi pleaded with Mutuku to seize the suspect’s travel documents to prevent him from fleeing like the rest.
Muriithi was released on a Sh5 million bond and an alternative cash bail of Sh2 million ahead of the pretrial set for April 7.