Johnson Mujungu, a former manager of Ugandan comedian Anne Kansime has been sentenced to two years in jail in the United Kingdom (UK) for illegally channeling £120,000 (Shs565m) to an account belonging to his wife.
Maidstone Crown Court heard that Mujungu and his wife Ntolera, both residents of Struttons Avenue deliberately hijacked an email from solicitor to a one Lee Finch, telling him he needed to pay inheritance tax linked to his late grandmother’s estate.
Mujungu and wife changed the account details in the email, replacing it with their own and causing Finch to deposit the money on their account.
They then went ahead to withdraw the money quickly.
Their luck ran short when Finch was sent another email from the solicitor reminding him to pay the inheritance tax. A confused Finch sought clarification, only to be told he deposited money to a scammer.
He sought help from his bank but was told there was not going to be any reimbursements, forcing him to pay the inheritance tax over again.
Finch dragged the matter to court where the transaction was traced to Mujungu and his wife.
In court, Mujungu and wife denied charges of money laundering, insisting that thy thought the money had been deposited on their account for ‘other work’.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Mark Newman of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: ‘This fraud was particularly cruel because the victim had recently lost a family member and he then had to pay the inheritance tax twice.”
“This couple used the money to pay off debts and pretended that it was a payment for a business transaction. I am pleased we have been able to track where the money went and bring those involved to justice.”
Newman said that police will now be carrying out further inquiries under the Proceeds of Crime act to see if any money can be returned, adding that “I hope this outcome gives some consolation to the victim.’
And Judge Stephen Thomas added: “The bank has told the victim they won’t give him the money and the consequences and the upset has had an effect on his life in general.
“The consequences for him have been truly awful, who through no fault or negligence on his part, lost this money and caused his life considerable damage.
“That money somehow got diverted into your bank accounts and was then dispersed around.I had the opportunity to see you both give evidence (during the trial), and, as a finding of fact, I find that Mujungu was the prime mover in this scheme.”
The two have both been convicted, Mujungu has been sentenced to two years in jail while his wife to an 18 month suspended jail sentence.
Mujungu’s wife survived longer jail term because she is taking care of a minor (a 10-year-old child). She was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Mujungu has recently managed comedians Anne Kansiime, Patrick Salvado Idringi, and singer Iryn Namubiru.