Court Dismisses Businessman Sivan Bid to Drop Fraud Charges

By Staff Reporter

HIGH Court Judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda has dismissed an application by businessman Ofer Sivan and his personal assistant Cassandra Myburg, to have their US$760,000 and $22 million fraud charges dropped.

Sivan and Myburg are alleged to have forged signatures of businessman Gilad Shabtai on the Stanbic Bank account opening forms resulting in accounts being opened and receiving business funds which Sivan diverted to his own use.

The two were removed from remand by a Harare Magistrate but the State conducted further investigations resulting in their indictment.

It is the State case that on September 23 2020, Sivan and Myburgh defrauded Gilad Shabtai and went to Stanbic Bank Borrowdale branch where they allegedly collected account opening forms with the intention to open bank accounts in the name of Adlecraft Investment Pvt Ltd without his knowledge and consent.

Allegations are that after the completion of the forms by Myburgh, the two working in connivance forged the signature of Shabtai.

Myburgh allegedly signed as a witness and Sivan signed in his capacity as one of the directors of the company and allegedly delivered the account opening forms to Stanbic Bank, misrepresenting that Adlecraft Investments and its directors had agreed to open the account yet they knew the signatures on the documents had not been made by Shabtai.

Further allegations are that on September 29 2021 the two misrepresented to Stanbic Bank by tendering a company resolution with a forged signature of purporting that it had been resolved that Sivan would be the sole signatory to the new bank account which they had opened without the knowledge of Adlecraft Investments Pvt Ltd and Shabtai and the bank opened two accounts.

Reports are that the offense came to light in November 2021 when Munyaradzi Gonyora who is one of the Directors of Adlecraft Investments Pvt Ltd perused some documents furnished to the company after the company was placed under company rescue and discovered that the signature of Shabtai had been forged basing on the dates on the documents.

Shabtai was reportedly out of the country when the forms were signed. This prompted Munyaradzi Gonyora to report the matter to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and questioned document examiners confirmed that the signature of Shabtai on the Stanbic Bank Account opening forms had been forged.

Claims are that the Adlecraft Investments Pvt Ltd forex account opened by the two received business funds between December 24 2020 to March 8 2022 amounting to US$817 147,98.

Sivan as the sole signatory to the account allegedly diverted US$762 983.06 for his personal benefit and $22 359 513,14 from the local currency account.

They will stand trial on March 28.

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