Friday, September 27, 2013

Scheme to Defraud the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Mark Mandell, Esq.
In 2008 an $800,000 scheme targeting funds from a children’s charity was unearthed. The charity was an organization that is devoted to helping children in Africa.

Nehemiah Muzamhindo, a 48-year-old political refugee from Zimbabwe, was sentenced to six years in federal prison for his role in the scheme targeting funds from the foundation. In addition to his sentence Muzamhindo was also ordered to pay $709,000 in restitution fees.

Muzamhindo had taken $629,000 from the foundation before he was cut out of the scheme. In order to claim funds from the children’s charity Muzamhindo set up bank accounts and shell companies to accept fraudulent claims. Then, he would go on to send half of the money he collected to foundation worker, Sabina Brand, in South Africa. Sabina Brand is currently serving 15 years in a South African prison for her role in the scheme.

During the trial Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy VerHey attacked the “bad character” of Muzamhindo. VerHey wrote in court documents that; “…His crime had a far-reaching impact, because it led the WKKF to withdraw from its charitable activities in Africa.”

Scott Mertens, Muzamhindo’s defense attorney, argued for Muzamhindo’s character saying that, “Mr. Muzamhindo had been involved in charitable works and has assisted others who have emigrated from Zimbabwe.”

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If you or someone you know is the target of a fraud investigation, or if you have already been indicted, contact the experienced team of fraud attorneys at Fausone Bohn, LLP, at (248) 380-0000 or online at 

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