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“Bogus” businessman slapped with another fraud charge

A “bogus” businessman who is accused of collecting millions of dollars from persons to ship heavy-duty machinery and spare parts was on Monday slapped with an additional fraud charge.

25-year-old Micah Sonaram of 2273 Flying Fish Street, North Ruimveldt, Georgetown appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.

Sonaram pleaded not guilty to the charge which stated that on November 4, 2020,  at  North Road Georgetown, being solely entrusted with $7 million by Steve Da Costa to purchase and deliver an excavator, he converted the money to his own use and benefit.

Sonaram was granted $50,000 bail and will his next court appearance on May 10, 2021. His lawyer, Latchmie Rahamat, told the court that the charge against her client is not valid since he was charged for the same offence on March 15, 2021.

However, the court prosecutor informed the court that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) had issued a letter to discontinue the previous matter citing that the defendant was charged under the wrong section of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act.

Last month, Sonaram was slapped with a similar charge.

He was not required to plead to the indictable charge which stated the between December 2, 2020, and December 11, 2020, at Georgetown, he fraudulently converted to his own use and benefit, $8.5 million, entrusted to him by Mohamed Ahmad to purchase a 2014 Doosan excavator.

He was granted $60,000 bail.

In this case, the Police prosecutor told the court that Sonaram is the registered owner of a fly-by-night business called Parts Zone GY  Inc., which he operates from a small office at North Road, Lacytown, Georgetown. During the period mentioned in the charge, Ahmad told detectives that he saw the company advertising via Facebook that it imports and sells new, refurbished and used heavy-duty machinery.

As such, Ahmad contacted Sonaram and made arrangements to purchase a mini excavator. He made a down payment of $850,000. The mini excavator was expected to arrive in Guyana one month after the down payment.  After the time elapsed, Ahmad requested a refund from Sonaram who claimed that he was out of town and was trying to accumulate the sum.

A  month passed, and the virtual complainant became frustrated and reported the matter to the Police.

Soonaram is currently facing three counts of fraudulent conversion and several similar reports are lodged against him at the Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters, Eve Leary, and at the Brickdam Police Station. Investigations are in progress.

Back in 2017, Sonaram was charged with similar offences and released on $150,000 bail. The first charge alleged that Sonaram, between October 1, 2017, and October 31, 2017, at Georgetown, fraudulently obtained $5,500,000 from two minors by falsely pretending he was in a position to import a motor pickup vehicle, knowing same to be false.

It was further alleged that between the said dates, he fraudulently obtained $300,000 from the said minors, by falsely pretending that he was in a position to grant a firearm, knowing same to be false.

The last charge alleged that between September 1, 2017, and September 30, 2017, he fraudulently obtained $25,000 from the minors by falsely pretending that he was in a position to obtain identification cards for them.