Chase Bank couple in fresh fraud charges
The director of a company and his wife who are alleged to have defrauded the collapsed Chase Bank were Wednesday handed a major reprieve after their bond terms were reduced by half.
Mohammed Nasrullah Khan and Amira Claudia Wagner, who are directors of Golden Azure Investments Ltd, had initially been charged alongside other former directors of Chase Bank with conspiracy to defraud the bank.
The two were charged afresh after the prosecution amended the charge sheet and reduced the charges against them.
The former directors charged in the case include ex-chairman Mohammed Zafrullah and Duncan Kabui, as well as former senior officials James Mwaura and Makarios Omondi.
The amount the two are alleged to have conspired to defraud the bank was also reduced from the initial Sh1.6 billion to approximately half a billion shillings.
Their lawyer, Cecil Miller, Wednesday pleaded with the court that the two be released on reasonable bond terms because the charges against them had reduced and the funds they allegedly defrauded also reduced.
He argued that the two ended up in court because they had borrowed a loan from the bank.
Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku ruled that the court was convinced that there was need to review their bond terms given the charges brought against them had reduced and the amount allegedly stolen also reduced.
The court set aside the initial bond term of Sh2 million each, and directed that Mr Nasrullah and his wife be released on Sh1 million bond each.
In the alternative, they are to pay Sh500,000 cash bail each and also find a Kenyan surety who is to deposit his national identity card in court and a further Sh1 million.
“The Kenyan will be the contact person between the court and the accused. The one million shillings to be paid will be forfeited incase Mr Nasrullah and his wife fail to attend court,” ruled Mutuku.
The prosecution alleges that between August 28, 2009 and March 31, 2016 at Chase Bank headquarters in Nairobi, Mr Nasrullah and his wife alongside others conspired with intent to defraud the bank by falsely pretending that the disbursement of Sh529,328,000 they effected from an internal account of the bank to other companies were genuine loan facilities.
It is alleged that between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015 at Chase Bank headquarters in Nairobi, jointly with others, they stole $588,000 which was the property of the bank.