Two Kenyan women in US court over Sh350m fraud

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Kenyans in United States

Two Kenyan women have been arrested in the United States of America in a period of two weeks over fraud amounting to more than $ 3.4 million, equivalent to Sh350 million.

This week, Ms Muthaini Nzuki, a 39 year old native of Kenya but now a naturalised citizen of the US was charged with stealing $773, 079. 35 (about Sh 75 million) from a university in the country.

Prosecutors say, Ms Nzuki, a resident of the State of Georgia, posed as a representative of Dell Computers in order to divert the money from the University of Connecticut to her accounts.

Ms Nzuki used an assumed name of a person who turned out not to be an actual Dell employee and used a free email service in Germany to create the email she used to open the account.

TRANSFERRED MONEY

She is alleged to have transferred the money between April 12 and May 19, reported NBC Connecticut.

The university realised something was wrong when Dell Computers contacted it on May 24 asking for payment on invoices that were past the due date.

According to the arrest warrant application, Ms Nzuki created an account with the vendor company, posing as a Dell employee, and synched up her account and the university’s account by entering Dell’s federal tax ID and imputing an invoice number and amount owed from any Dell invoice to UConn.

Ms Nzuki was arraigned before Rockville Superior Court and charged with first-degree larceny and first-degree computer crime and was held on a $500,000 (Sh50m) bond.

She is expected again in court on December 1.

ARREST

Records from Immigration and Customs Enforcement show that Nzuki has been a naturalised US citizen as of 2010, has a U.S. passport as well as a Kenyan passport.

Her arrest came less than two weeks after Ms Hellen Kiago, 47, was charged with stealing $ 2.7 million, equivalent to Sh 278 million, in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Prosecutors say that the Kenyan born US citizen  used her health care company to file false Medicaid claims.

She was accused of routinely over-billing and falsely billing for services that were not authorised.

BANK ACCOUNT

Ms Kiago and her company, Lifestream Healthcare Alliance LLC, billed MassHealth for home health provided to patients that were not authorised by a physician, reported telegram.com, an online news site in Worcester.

Prosecutors said that two days after authorities served her with a search warrant on Dec 1 last year, Ms Kiago opened a bank account in the name of her young daughter and deposited some of the money in that account.

In January, Ms Kiago allegedly transferred $1 million (Sh100m)  to an account in Kenya.

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