THE Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a businessman to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour for forging a company letter of transfer of funds and attempting to obtain money from the bank.
In this matter, Ernest Chipalo, 51, of Mtendere East Township was charged with six counts of forgery, uttering false documents, and attempting to obtain money by false pretences.
In count one, particulars of the offence were that on August 23, 2018, Chipalo, with intent to deceive or defraud, forged a Wonderful Industry Company Limited letter of transfer of funds purporting to show that it was genuinely issued and signed by the company when in fact not.
In count two, Chipalo on the same date knowingly and fraudulently uttered a false Wonderful Industry Company Limited letter of transfer of funds in the names of Steven Chipeso to Mutemi Mwelwa.
In count three, Chipalo with intent to deceive and defraud forged a Wonderful Industry Company Limited letter of transfer of funds in the name of Mwanja Kakusa by purporting to show that it was genuinely issued by the company when in fact not.
In count four, Chipalo knowingly and fraudulently uttered the same letter of transfer of fund to Mutemi Mwelwa.
In the fifth count, Chipalo with intent to defraud or deceive, attempted to obtain US$13,500 from First Capital Bank by falsely pretending that Wonderful Industry Company Limited had authorised the bank transfer of the money when in fact not.
In the last count, Chipalo with intent to defraud, purported to be Mwanja Kakusa when in fact not.
He had pleaded guilty.
In his mitigation, Chipalo told Lusaka Chief Resident Magistrate Lameck Mwale, Thursday, that he regretted his actions, and that he would be an ambassador who would teach others on the importance of following the law.
He said his family would suffer as he has a son who is in third year at Apex University, a daughter who is in second year at Mufulira Teaching College, and a last born son who was in grade nine.
Chipalo said he was also keeping two orphans who were in grades 11 and 12.
Passing sentence, Magistrate Mwale noted that Chipalo had spent considerable time in incarceration and that he had learnt a lesson.
He sentenced him to 18 months on all counts with effect from September 18, 2019.