A motor spares company director who is being charged with fraud involving US$11 000 and over R124 000 was back in court last Friday with indications that he is likely to face more fraud charges.
Michael Smith of MA Auto Spares is being accused of corruptly concealing transactions from his principal.
It is the State case that sometime in October 2019, a fellow director, who is the complainant, left for Australia and failed to return due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions until September 2022.
When he returned, he discovered that the company was paying its South African suppliers through a third party, called Mant Procurement [Pvt) Ltd.
The South African-registered company is co-owned by Smith and his South Africa-based friend, Tony Oatley.
Smith had not disclosed this arrangement to his principal, the complainant.
The complainant later discovered that Mant Procurement was overcharging the company and as a result they suffered prejudice in excess of R100 000.
In February 2022, Smith allegedly imported two tents using MA Auto Suppliers (Pvt) Ltd’s resources under the pretence that the tents belonged to the company.
He allegedly sold the tents to Ms Horsley for US$1 800 before converting the cash to his personal use.
In October 2023, Smith allegedly used the same modus operandi to import a Station Wagon Rear Bumper and RHS Carrier and the customer paid R24 259.83 directly into Mant Procurement (Pvt) Ltd’s FNB account.
On another occasion, Smith was authorised by the complainant to sell their Toyota Land Cruiser to his son for US$7 500.
Smith allegedly released the vehicle after receiving only US$2 000.
As a result, the company suffered prejudice to the sum of US$5 500.
It also alleged that Smith attempted to sell three tool boxes to MA Auto Supplies when they already belonged to the company.
The attempt exposed the company to a prejudice of US$3 300.
Smith is out on ZWL$100 000 bail.
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