CRIME & COURTS DESK
James Magodoro a former Kwekwe Magistrate and senior lawyer of Magodora and Company law firm in Kwekwe has appeared in court facing allegations of converting to personal use money deposited into his trust account by a client who wanted to buy a plot along Chiundura road in Kwekwe.
The prominent Kwekwe lawyer appeared before Masvingo Magistrate Patience Madondo Monday this week and is charged with stealing trust property involving US$16 485.
Onias Chingombe a former Masvingo City Councillor is the complainant in the matter.
It is the state case that Chingombe made the payment to Magodora on behalf of her daughter who is based in the United Kingdom.
Prosecutor Malvin Mapako alleges that sometime in September 2016, Chingombe`s daughter saw an advert on the internet for the sale of Plot number 43 Rosslin Farm, Kwekwe belonging to Benjamin Mahlatini.
She consulted her lawyer Tichaona Bhunu of Bhunu and Associates to assist her in purchasing the advertised 10 hectare plot and the seller (Mahlatini) consulted Magodora who owns Magodora and Company Legal Practitioners to assist him in selling the plot.
On October 11, 2016 using the power of attorney granted him by her daughter, Chingombe transferred US$16 485 into Magodora`s CBZ Bank trust account through Real Time Gross Settlement from his Barclays Bank account.
The money was supposed to be given to Mahlatini for the payment of the plot. The money reflected on Magodora`s account the following day, according to court records.
However, Chingombe and Mahlatini failed to reach an agreement on the transfer of the plot allegedly after Magodora changed details in the draft agreement.
The lawyer failed to release the money into Mahlatini`s account despite Mahlatini being the owner of the said stand.
Chingombe made a police report leading to a warrant of arrest for Magodora after several attempts by the complainant to get a refund since 2016 proved futile.
Magodora was remanded out of custody on free bail to July 15, 2020 for trial.
Source: Masvingo Mirror