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Freedom bid for US$200k fraud accused businessman fails

Fraud accused businessman Ofer Sivan and his personal assistant Cassandra Myburg’s freedom bid failed when a regional magistrate ordered that they stand trial.

The two through their lawyer had applied for refusal of further remand which was thrown out by regional magistrate Stanford Mambanje after the State submitted that investigations had been completed and the docket was being pursued for a second opinion by another prosecutor.

The matter was then postponed to August 16 to allow for the completion of the process stated by the State which was a blow to their freedom bid.

Sivan and Myburg are facing allegations of conniving and forging the signatures of the complainant Gilad Shabtai on the Stanbic Bank account opening forms which prejudiced other shareholders of more than US$200 000.

They have been pushing to be removed from remand but the completion of investigations have dealt them a big blow.

Earlier this week Shabtai’s lawyer Admire Rubaya wrote to authorities after he picked up information that the prosecution wanted to withdraw the charges.

He further stated that he had instructed his lawyers to seek private prosecution if the charges are withdrawn, meaning Sivan will not be off the hook.

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Sivan’s lawyers confirmed the fears saying after the publication of the contents of the letter, they approached the State and were told that they wanted to withdraw but were no longer proceeding with the intended withdrawal.

Sande alleged that Shabtai was threatening the State which the prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti disputed saying they were an independent body which operates within the confines of the law.

Shabtai has also written to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and other state agencies to investigate Ofer Sivan on allegations of externalising over US$30 million.

Allegations before the court are that on September 23, 2020 Sivan while working in concert with Myburg forged the signatures of the complainant Gilad Shabtai on the Stanbic Bank account opening forms.

The State alleges this was intended to deceive bank officials to open bank accounts for Adlecraft Investments (Private) Limited on the guise that Shabtai as one of the directors was involved yet he had not approved the opening of that account.

It is also alleged that the two also forged Shabtai’s signatures on the Adlecraft company resolution dated September 29 2020, purporting to appoint Sivan as the sole signatory to the bank account.

Claims are that bank officials went on to open two accounts in the name Adlecraft Investments(Private) Limited and Sivan became the signatory to the two accounts.

Reports are that in November 2021, Munyaradzi Gonyora a minority shareholder in the company discovered the offence after perusing documents obtained from Stanbic Bank and then alerted Shabatai who then reported the matter to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.