Businessman Surrenders Ksh 26M Resort in Diani to Govt After Scamming Kids

  • An aerial view of Karibu Palms Resort in Diani along the Indian Ocean.
    An aerial view of Karibu Palms Resort in Diani along the Indian Ocean.
    Booking.com
  • A businessman who was accused of exploiting a government-sponsored special fund aimed at supporting vulnerable children pleaded guilty to the count of wire fraud and money laundering.

    According to a statement by the US Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota dated Tuesday, January 24, the suspect was ordered to forfeit to the US Government several assets including an apartment located in Nairobi, Kenya, Karibu Palms Resort in Diani along the Indian Ocean, a Ford F-150 pickup truck and a boat. 

    In addition, he was ordered to surrender over Ksh86 million that he allegedly kept for private use. 

    A view of the city of Minnesota
    A view of the city of Minnesota.
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    According to court documents, a sentencing hearing would be scheduled at a later time.

    The ruling is a result of investigations carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

    Court documents indicated that the businessman enrolled two organisations in the Federal Child Nutrition Program as sites aimed at providing meals to underprivileged children. 

    The suspect admitted in court that after enrolling his companies, he began submitting fraudulent claims for reimbursement claiming that he had served meals to needy children.

    He confessed to falsifying invoices to document the purchase of food as well as submitting false attendance rosters purporting to indicate the names of children who received the meals. 

    The businessman allegedly operated another distribution company that purported to deliver meals to the children. 

    Between 2020 and 2021, the suspect's organisations claimed to have delivered over 870,000 meals. The Attorney General's office, however, debunked the allegations and noted that the organisations only served a fraction of the meal amounts stipulated. 

    The organisation received over Ksh31 billion for the scheme and the suspect is believed to have kept Ksh88 million of proceeds for his personal use. 

    Other proceeds were stored in shell companies.

    An image of a legal scale and a gavel.
    An image of a legal scale and a gavel.
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