Mike Harris Toyota Sales Manager Rocks in a US$2.1 million Fraud
Shankman Ben, the sales manager of Mike Harris Toyota, has been implicated in a major fraud where he allegedly embezzled a staggering US$2.1 million from the company.
Bail Granted Amidst Allegations
Represented by Tapson Dzvetero, Ben appeared before Harare magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa, who granted him bail in the amount of US$500. The accused now faces charges related to defrauding his employer through a series of deceptive practices.
Deception and False Invoices
According to the State, Ben executed his fraudulent scheme by accepting cash payments from customers and issuing doctored invoices to the company’s clients. He intentionally concealed the received funds and failed to record the transactions properly in the company’s system.
Dubai Car Procurement Ruse
To further deceive his employer, Ben utilized third-party payments and falsely represented them as purchases made by Mike Harris Toyota. He proceeded to procure motor vehicles from African Mobile Solutions in Dubai using the company’s dealership and bank account.
Unraveling the Fraud
The scheme was exposed when Mike Harris Toyota attempted to purchase cars from AMS. They were told that the company’s bank account was in arrears. AMS revealed that 27 cars had been fraudulently purchased using the dealership’s resources.
Auditors Uncover the Extent of the Scam
After some time of noticing dubious transactions, Mike Harris Toyota hired auditors who examined the company’s record. Their final report explicitly unearthed the full extent of the fraud. The total prejudice suffered by the company amounted to a staggering US$445,038, with only a meager US$1,600 being recovered.
Luxurious Purchases and Unidentified Properties
Upon further investigations, it was discovered that Ben had used stolen funds to purchase his Ford Ranger WildTrak and other properties. The prosecution alleges that these acquisitions were made between December 2020 and September 19, 2023.
The magnitude of the scam committed by the sales manager is staggering, with a total value of US$1,710,767 stolen and no significant recovery achieved. This incident highlights a concerning trend of top management involvement in fraudulent activities, as seen in a recent case reported by The Herald.