Real estate director in stands scam

HARARE - A Harare real estate company director has been summoned to court on 575 fraud charges after forging signatures and reselling residential stands.

George Bateni, 34, the director of Graham and Douglas Real Estate, a company he bought from the complainant Douglas Nyaude, yesterday appeared before regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa for trial on a $400 000 fraud case.

The court heard Nyaude bought land in Harare’s Glen View Extension suburb that he subdivided into 548 residential stands in 2001 and sold to several people.

The court heard Bateni bought the company from Nyaude in 2008, but was not to be part of the housing project.

Nyaude, however, assigned Bateni to manage the housing project in January 2009, by collecting money and overseeing the development of the stands.

When Nyaude left for South Africa, Bateni took the opportunity and lied to home seekers that Nyaude had repossessed some of the residential stands, which he said were now up for sale.

It is alleged that Bateni sold the stands between 2009 and 2010, using Nyaude’s forged signatures and prepared agreements of sale.

The offence came to light when Nyaude came back into the country in 2010 and was approached by purchasers who discovered that the stands had been sold to other people.

According to state papers, Bateni collected money from the purchasers, purportedly for sewer connections and as endowments fees, causing a total prejudice of $406 634.

Bateni allegedly sold Nyaude’s vehicle using fake registration books.

He will be back in court today.

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