Dr James Mwangi, the co-founder and CEO of Equity Bank Group is being accused of turning an employee wealth fund into a personal purse.
In 2005, hundreds of the fast-growing bank came together to form an Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP). ESOP was meant to aid Equity Bank staff to purchase shares of the bank.
The staff were led to believe that this was a neutral endeavor and that there would be an independent Trust Deed to manage and govern that ESOP on their behalf.
Sources indicate that after sign ups, Dr Mwangi illegally nominated himself and his cronies to the Trustee of the ESOP scheme – with clear intentions of controlling and gaining out of the exercise.
Mwangi then instructed his management team to open an escrow account, where the money was deposited and it is being illegally held, earning dividends to date.
The estimated value has since risen to over Sh5 billion.
Staff who contributed to the ESOP have continued to languish in pain as they seek justice which has been delayed becaue Mwangi is one of the ‘best faces’ globally.
Dr Mwangi’s influence has meant that the courts, Capital Markets Authority and Kenya Bankers Association have been gagged.
Some staff have died, others left the bank but the money that they were supposed to be paid, after 30 days of leaving the bank, as per agreement, continues to grow in the escrow account controlled by illegal trustees.
The scam continues, well protected by Kenyan financial industry cartels.
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