Fraud suspect Smith’s trial resumes Fraud suspect Michael Smith (left) arrives at the Harare Magistrates Court yesterday.

Herald Reporter

The trial of businessman Michael Gordon Smith (known as Mike Smith), who is facing 40 counts of fraud and corruptly concealing transactions from his principal, will resume on Friday at the Harare Magistrates Court.

Smith (55) was back in court yesterday to answer to charges of defrauding MA Auto Suppliers, trading as Mr Cruiser, of at least US$38 000 and R124 000. He is also facing charges of theft of trust property.

Smith, who was a director with MA Auto Suppliers, is out on $100 000 bail after first appearing in court in February this year.

The complainant in the matter is MA Auto Suppliers represented by Michael Scot Asher.

The offences were allegedly committed while Mr Asher was away in Australia during the Covid-19 era when travelling was restricted.

The court heard that Smith allegedly failed to disclose to Mr Asher that their company was paying its South African suppliers through a third party, Mant Procurement (Pvt) Ltd.

Smith also allegedly imported two tents, a station wagon rear bumper and an RHS Carrier under the name of MA Auto Suppliers before selling them for personal gain.

Additionally, Smith is expected to defend himself for failing to account for US$28 985,72 in service charges received from relatives and friends after using the company’s resources.

It is the State’s case that in September last year, MA Auto Suppliers discovered that Mant Procurement was overcharging the company and MA had suffered prejudice in excess of R100 000.

In February, Smith allegedly imported two tents using MA Auto Suppliers resources and sold them to a Ms Horsley for US$1 800. Smith allegedly used the same modus operandi to import a station wagon rear bumper and RHS carrier and the customer paid R24 259,83 directly into Mant Procurement’s FNB account.

On another occasion, Smith was authorised by Mr Asher to sell a company Toyota Land Cruiser for US$7 500 and he allegedly converted the amount to his own use.

In November 2020, Smith also failed to account for a US$10 000 loan advanced to the company.

During his previous court appearance, the investigating officer presented evidence that Smith had committed the offence.

Key evidence was extracted from several communication devices by the Police Cyber Lab and should prove key to the case.

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