UNITED STATES – Flamboyant Harare dealer and socialite Tonderai Sakupwanya, better known as Pound in the upmarket circles was on Wednesday sentenced to more than seven years in prison and ordered to pay $2.6 million in restitution by a United States court.
He was arrested for creating false identities in order to receive federal tax refunds.
Pound was nabbed in the United States in May and had pleaded guilty to one count of theft of public funds.
According to Star Telegram, a Dallas based paper, Pound and his partner in crime, Reminico Hangazha, who is better known in Harare’s elite circles as Boss Remmy, defrauded the IRS by obtaining tax refunds that were generated through the electronic filing of false income tax returns.
The refunds were sent to private mailboxes the pair rented using aliases. Authorities say they also established bank accounts using the same false names.
Boss Remmy, however, is awaiting sentence but he has pleaded guilty to theft of public funds.
The two socialites were popular in the capital where they were famous for flaunting their wealth, driving expensive cars and showering up market clubbers with expensive whiskey.
The two are ‘hero worshipped’ on several local mix-tapes as dee-jays salute them for their flamboyant lifestyle that easily passed off for a script taken off a Hollywood movie.
They are believed to have funded local music through promoting some entertainment firms in the capital.
Meanwhile, there has been an increase of young Zimbabwean men being nabbed for tax fraud in the United States of late.
Early 2014, another 25 year old flamboyant socialite Tawanda Marimbire was jailed in the US.
He was found in possession of several luxury cars and $1m in cash and money orders in a storage locker.
He was sentenced to 6 years in prison.
In the same year, one Kudzaishe Robert Bungu, aged 28, was also jailed. Star Telegraph/Zimbabwe Mail