PowerSpeed Worker Steals US$200 000, Buys Cars For Wife & Girlfriends
A former clerk at Powerspeed Electrical has been sentenced to an effective seven years in prison for stealing over US$200,000 from the company. Tapiwa Israel Makwindi was found guilty of defrauding the company after a full trial by regional magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa. Makwindi was convicted on two counts of theft and one count of money laundering.
10-Year Sentence, Forfeited Cars
H-Metro reports that Makwindi was sentenced to 10 years in prison for each count of theft, but two years were suspended on condition of good behavior. On the first count, another year was suspended on condition that he pays back Powerspeed Electrical US$166,000 before April 30. On the second count, another year was suspended on condition he restitutes $16 million to the company.
However, the sentences will run concurrently, which means that the former PowerSpeed employee will serve only 7 years in prison.
Magistrate Gofa also ordered that a Fortuner, which Makwindi bought for his girlfriend, a Honda Fit which he bought for his wife, and a Mercedes Benz and a VW Golf GTI he bought for himself be forfeited to the State.
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Clerk Used His Position to Steal
According to H-Metro, Makwindi was employed by Powerspeed Electrical as a clerk, and his duties included preparing payment requisitions, processing supplier payments, generating payment batches in various Internet bank accounts, and carrying out bank reconciliations for the company.
From November 2021 to July 5 last year, he transferred over US$200,000 from the PowerSpeed company account and converted it to his own use. Makwindi used his banking credentials to log into the company’s CABS Bank nostro account and transferred money to various bank accounts, then collected the cash from the receivers.
Benefiting from the Offence
Makwindi breached the trust vested in him by his employer and benefited from the offence, buying cars and building a house in his rural home, which cannot be forfeited. Prosecutor Kennedy Madekutsikwa said that “theft of trust is a serious offence and must be dealt with accordingly.”
The court has ruled on the case, and Makwindi will serve his sentence.