Geoffrey Kiragu, the director of real estate company Lesedi Developers, was on Tuesday brought to the Thika Law Courts to face 12 charges of obtaining money by false pretenses.
The charges stem from allegations that Kiragu defrauded various individuals by falsely claiming he could sell them parcels of land.
Kiragu appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Oscar Wanyaga and pleaded not guilty to all 12 charges.
The total amount involved in these fraud cases is reported to be Ksh.5.4 million.
Over 100 land buyers attended the court proceedings, eager to witness the legal action against Kiragu, who had reportedly been on the run since allegedly defrauding numerous clients by selling them land without proper documentation.
Kiragu’s defense team, consisting of lawyers Daniel Gachau Mwangi and veteran lawyer John Khaminwa, sought his release on a cash bail of Ksh.50,000. However, the court ruled in favor of detaining Kiragu at Muthaiga Police station for at least two days.
Kiragu is accused of scamming investors out of more than one billion shillings by essentially selling them “hot air,” implying that the land transactions were fraudulent.
Additionally, it was reported that Kiragu had registered another land-selling company, Tunza Realtors Limited, which was operating in the same area as Lesedi Developers. This led to double allocations of land to buyers.
Kiragu admitted to co-owning Tunza Realtors with another unnamed director but defended the legality of owning two companies simultaneously.
The dispute between Lesedi Developers and its partners, primarily those from whom the company acquired the land, emerged when the company failed to fulfill its obligations.
The original agreement stipulated that Lesedi Developers would identify prime land, market it, pay the landowner 10 percent of the total land cost, and subsequently repay the landowner as clients purchased land through Lesedi.
However, buyers were paying Lesedi directly for the land instead of using an escrow account, exposing both the landowner and buyers to financial risk.
In one instance, a developer in Juja demolished a house owned by an investor who had fully paid for the plot. However, Lesedi Developers had not transferred the money to the landowner.
The situation in Nakuru, where Lesedi is selling land investments, mirrored the same issues, leaving investors at risk of losing millions of shillings in a problematic land deal.