By Nyasha Mutena
HARARE magistrate Taurai Manuwere has upheld an application for exception and exonerated Waverley Blankets and Plastics boss Aron Vico of the fraud charges.
He had been dragged to court by the late businessman, Victor Cohen’s daughters, Amanda Berkowitz and Belynda Halfon accusing him of fraudulently taking ownership of the company, Waverley Blankets and Plastics which their father owned prior to his death.
The sisters had approached the court seeking to set aside the allotment of shares that gave Vico power to take over Waverly Plastics. In their submission to the court, they said Vico, with the help of accounting firm AA Omar and one Maxwell Maheya, connived and manufactured documents which he used in the allotment of 400 shares in Waverley Plastics without a company resolution or knowledge of shareholders.
The daughters of Cohen instituted a private prosecution on fraud charges against Vico after the State declined to prosecute citing a lack of evidence.
The family wrote to Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi requesting a certificate to prosecute Vico on allegations of fraudulently divesting the founder’s children of the bulk of their ownership of the company and taking over 80% of the shareholding.
The late business tycoon’s children claimed to have lost control of at least 13 companies after Vico allegedly forged their signatures on registration documents following Cohen’s death in 2017 amid suspicion of corrupt activities at the Registrar of Companies.
Cohen was also the founder of Con Textiles, which was liquidated.
However Vico denied the allegations and filed his application for exception saying the charges he was facing did not disclose an offence.
Vico, through his lawyer Admire Rubaya, submitted that the case showed no offence and was bad at law. The magistrate ruled in favour of Vico concurring with his submissions.