Man loses $25 000 in farming scam

HARARE -  A 61-year-old pensioner lost more than $25 000 after being cajoled into a bogus farming business venture, the court heard.

Thomas Scott, 36, allegedly fleeced John Hobard of his $26 410.

Scott yesterday appeared before magistrate Tendai Mahwe on fraud charges.

The court heard that Scott entered into a farming business venture with Hobard between December 2009 and May 2010.

According to the terms of the agreement, Scott was to provide land, management of crops and labour, while Hobard was to provide funding for the project.

The two allegedly agreed that upon harvesting, Scott was going to refund Hobard and they were to share the profits.

Prosecutor Junior Mugebe told the court that Hobard, acting on the misrepresentation, gave Scott the money to buy maize seed and fertiliser.

Scott allegedly pocketed the money that he received from Hobard, after lying that he was to do farm repairs, pay workers’ wages and electricity bills.

Hobard later realised that he had been duped and demanded to visit the farm to see the project, but Scott became evasive.

Hobard later filed a police report, leading to Scott’s arrest.

Magistrate Mahwe released Scott on a $300 bail on strict reporting conditions.

He will be back on February 21. - Ivan Zhakata

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