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FEP: FBI now invited to probe Firm that “used the Bible to promised investors the moon but delivered false hope”

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He came armed with a Bible, silver tongue and hope. But a decade and about Sh6 billion worth of investments later, the bounty dividends that architect John Kithaka promised have not been delivered, The Sunday Nation is reporting.

According to a story appearing in Today’s edition, thousands of Kenyans both at home and abroad put their savings in Fountain Enterprises Programme (FEP) and, 12 years later, they are yet to receive their dividends.

COLLAPSED

“In 2012, investors were promised that dividends would start being paid in 2015, then in 2018 and then this year, 2021 was announced as the new magical date,” writes the paper.

Tired of the tall tales, some investors have invited the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to investigate the firm and those in the United States are calling on the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to intervene. Last year, the company estimated to be worth Sh4 billion made a loss of Sh650 million. So, what went wrong?

An interview with former managers show wrong investments, an overbearing founder, fraud by managers and lack of systems punctured the momentum of what was once a promising company.

“As of May 2011, members were able to sign up on the Sh399,381 per share offer. Original founder members bought tier two founder shares at Sh760,000. By close of share selling in August 15, 2012 a share was going for 465,000,” said an investor who was heavily involved in mobilising Kenyans in United States.

The money was to be invested in hotels, tours and travels, schools, real estate and banking.

To realise this, several companies were established including MobiKash, Fountain Media, Fountain Group of Schools, Fountain Sacco, Nobel Insurance Agency, Suntec Supermarket, Fountain Credit Services, Fountain Technologies, Fountain Safaris, Kisima Real Estate, Nobel Insurance Agency, and Citadelle Security. Several have since collapsed.

According to interviews with some board members, that was the company’s first mistake. It spread itself too thin and was unable capitalise on all the businesses it ran.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Speaker Muturi launches Huduma Namba drive for Kenyans in Ukraine, meets Prime Minister

Current FEP Holdings chairman James Kaguchia admitted to the Sunday Nation that the slow progress of projects was due to undercapitalisation triggered by a failed private placement in 2014 but the company is still on course. Fountain radio and TV, for instance, were understaffed and had little cash for operations and thus collapsed.

OVERBEARING

MobiKash, a money transfer service, was one of the earliest investments but it was closed under unclear circumstances down without benefiting investors.

“Although FEP had initially partnered with MobiKash, the deal was later deemed as not viable. FEP therefore exited the partnership with CBK’s approval,” Mr Kaguchia said.

But, perhaps, one of the most iconic investments was Suntec Hotels in Sagana, Kirinyaga County, which has stalled.

“An estimated Sh800 million of investors’ cash has been used to put up the four-star Suntec Hotel in Sagana which is 70 per cent done with a current valuation of Sh1.2 billion. The hotel is due for launch later this year in partnership with a Swiss hotel operator,” said Mr Kaguchia.

Mr Kaguchia said FEP Group comprises three arms, namely, FEP Holdings (the holding company) with 74,000 shareholders; FEP Society (the network) with over 200,000 members; and FEP Sacco (savings and credit), with over 15,000 members.

The firm’s CEO has been accused of being overbearing, accusations he has denied in previous AGMs arguing that as the dream carrier, he needed to be firm.

With a new corporate structure courtesy of the FEP Society Strategy 2019-2021, Dr Kithaka’s designation is no longer President but Patron of FEP Society. He remains the holding company’s CEO but is not directly involved in running the subsidiaries as was the case in the past.  Mr Kaguchia said he is aware of the anxiety among members but adds that all is not lost.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: You won't be taxed if you haven't been in Kenya for at least 183 cumulative days in one year, KRA tells Diasporians

“In 2017, FEP made a loss of Sh650 million. FEP value currently stands at Sh4.15 billion,” he said.

In 2012, Mr Charles Kabaiku, who was tapped from the United States to help manage the company, left within months after his advice on the need to have systems put in place was disregarded.

“When I came in as the Group Operations Manager, we declared a positive profit on our annual reports at the AGM of about Sh58 million for the year ending 2012. I tried to centralise the financial management system but the move was resisted,” said Mr Kabaiku.

Mr Charles Kabaiku, an investor and former Group Operations Manager at Fountain Enterprises Programme (FEP), speaks during an interview at Nation Centre in Nairobi on June 5, 2019. He said his efforts to streamline financial systems at the company were strongly resisted. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

An audit by KPMG revealed that some managers were pilfering the firm. The company did not disclose the nature of theft.  Fearing that they may lose their investment, Kenyans in the US complained to the embassy in Washington.

The then Kenyan ambassador to US Robinson Githae forwarded the complaint to the Directorate of Criminal investigations but little was done.

Now, fearing that their investigations on the operations of FEP may not be conclusive, Kenyans who also hold US citizenships are mulling forwarding the issue to the United States federal government authorities.

“The Kenya Embassy in Washington DC actually contacted FEP and proposed that CID intervenes regarding alleged misappropriation of investors’ money. However, upon review of the case, the CID did not find a basis to investigate FEP,” said Mr Kaguchia.

Some of the cases the diaspora cites are an investment in Mombasa. Diaspora investors were told to purchase beach plots in Mombasa with fliers showing plots numbers and a hotel to be built, but little progress has been made.

READ ALSO:   Police investigate Margaret Nganga's death as family reels in shock

In 2016, Mr Kithaka went around selling shares of a Tier three bank. The issue has not been heard of since despite shareholders having been promised a stake in the bank.

“FEP Holdings had intended to acquire a stake in the said Bank. However, following further internal deliberations and consultations with the Central Bank of Kenya, FEP decided to pull out of the deal. However, some individual FEP shareholders have invested in the bank in their personal capacities,” said Mr Kaguchia.

Mr Kaguchia said FEP Group currently owns an estimated 6,000 acres of land valued at over of Sh2 billion. The land is earmarked for housing projects and hotels.

CONSULTATION

“We are also exploring agribusiness and any other viable ventures. The new board is currently reviewing and re-aligning the Real Estate strategy to guide the group’s investment through the three-year ‘FEP Mpya’ turnaround journey,” he said.

But the most baffling issue was the sudden creation of a new company, Tai Eagles and Tai Housing, which was done with minimal consultation with investors.

“Tai Ltd is an associate company of FEP Holdings. There exists no financial or governance relationship between TAI and FEP. Tai Eagles deals with healthcare and housing. Tai runs two health facilities, Tai Eagles Hospital in Thika Town and Nairobi CBD. Tai is currently in discussions with KRA regarding certain aspects of compliance. During the 2014  AGM, members passed a resolution to close all FEP offices as a cost-cutting measure. Tai Ltd, an associate company to FEP Holdings, was co-sharing the physical space with FEP,” said Mr Kaguchia.

The chairman calls for patience.

“The best laid plans do not always yield the intended results,” Mr Kaguchia said.

SOURCE: nation.co.ke

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Business

VIDEOS: Boston, Massachusetts residents are all smiles courtesy of Optiven

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Optiven Group just hosted its Boston customers for sumptuous dinner and a one-on-one meeting. What’s more? Courtesy of this event, several Bostonians are now owners of land that is 100% transformed, meaning they are now proud owners of land that has all facilities including children park, a jogging track, water, trees and secure gated communities.

See more: https://www.optiven.co.ke/diaspora/usa2019

These happy clients can now embark on a journey of building homes and for those who are already building, they will enjoy the new innovative project, where Optiven through its sister company PMC Estates (www.pmcestates.co.ke) will get all our clients a good tenant, maintain their houses and collect and deposit Money in their accounts or wire the rent to their USA accounts.

A number of customers in the USA & Europe are already benefiting courtesy of this new service with no risk of being shortchanged by a dishonest relative.

The Optiven team, which is led by George Muteti and Steve Mbugua, who are both Senior Managers, are available for online support as they celebrate those they presented the ownership documents at Boston. They were in Virginia, Maryland Missouri and now in Boston, Massachusetts as they head to Seattle in Washington State later this week.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: You won't be taxed if you haven't been in Kenya for at least 183 cumulative days in one year, KRA tells Diasporians

We at Optiven celebrate all those customers whose titles were delivered to their doorstep and we commit to also deliver to those others who are still paying for their properties on installments. These installments have enabled many Kenyans in diaspora to own properties with Optiven Group. Most of who have purchase Victory Gardens and are very happy.
Youtube: https://youtu.be/gdu935WbGcI

Others customers have bought Garden of Joy, a very strategic property that is ready for settlement. Youtube: https://youtu.be/X97lzyZ3M8Y

Still, other customers have bought Nyeri project (Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXqUvYSSZ9s)

While others have bought Shekinah Gardens: https://www.optiven.co.ke/properties/shekinahgardens

Thika Royal palms https://www.thikaroyalpalms.com/ and Amani Ridge-The place of Peace

https://www.optiven.co.ke/component/allvideoshare/video/amaniridgeplaceofpeacekiambu?Itemid=665

We congratulate the hundreds of diaspora clients who have bought and joined our 10, 000 plus customers, whom we have empowered over the last 20 years. You are now part of the great Optiven movement.

We now encourage you to join the movement as we push our vision to Economically and Socially empowering and transforming the world.

Call us now:
540 214 4376

443 734 2465

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Optiven begins USA Summer Tour 2019 To Empower And Partner With Kenyans

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Optiven USA Tour July 2019: Optiven has embarked on a month-long mission in the USA.
“We are empowering and partner with  Kenyans in the USA to help them create wealth back at home and share investment opportunities in the vibrant real estate market,” says Mr George Wachiuri, the Group’s CEO.
The Team is in the USA this Summer.
If you are in Harrisonburg VA , Richmond VA, Baltimore MD, St Louis  MO, Boston MA, Seattle WA, you have an  opportunity to interact and invest through this award-winning real estate company.

Optiven USA July Tour

Schedule:

Harrisonburg VA for  the KCFA Conference  (July 4th-7th)

Special Title Presentation by Optiven
Time: Full Day

Baltimore MD July 6th– 10th 2019.

 

During the Annual Independence Day
Special  Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:Full Day
Venue: Grace Quarters Rd, Middle Rivers 21220 MD

Richmond, VA July 7th-10th,2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:4:00pm

 Venue: Embassy Suites   By Hilton 2925 Emerywood Pkwy Richmond VA 23294

St Louis, MO July 12th- 17th, 2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:4:00pm
Venue:Best Western Inn St Louis 6224,Heimos Industrial Park Dr, St Louis.

Boston, MA July 19th-24th, 2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Time:4:00pm
Venue: Hyatt Place Boston /Braintree 50 Forbes Rd, Braintree, MA 02184

Seattle, WA July 27th-31st, 2019

Special Dinner and Title Presentation by Optiven
Venue:Comfort Inn Federal Way 31622 Pacific  Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003
Time:4:00pm
Optiven is available for one on one in all stations. All Dinners fully paid by Optiven as you witness the presentation of title deeds.
Contact George or Stephen at +254 713 588 899 or +254 708188671
More details on our website https://www.optiven.co.ke/diaspora/usa2019

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WACHIURI: Top 5 Tips On How To Positively Dominate And Influence

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BY GEORGE WACHIURI

When we were created, we were empowered with an astonishing capacity to positively dominate and influence the World. The world could be your career, your business, your life, your family or whatever is around your environment.

Here in Kenya, we have witnessed successful companies such as Optiven Group dominating the real estate market in such a big way, to an extent of being singled out by the London Stock Exchange as one of the top companies that will influence Africa in the year 2019. We have also witnessed individuals who have truly taken charge of what they do. These are people such as the late Mother Teresa, who influenced the humanitarian field in a big way; the late Prof. Wangari Maathai, who took charge of environmental protection with such zeal, that she even picked a Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. We have great people such as Manu Chandaria and George Wachiuri who have demonstrated a notable passion for philanthropy works in Kenya.

So, how can you up your dominance level, to be at par with such great people who have continued to leave a positive mark on their areas of specialty?

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: You won't be taxed if you haven't been in Kenya for at least 183 cumulative days in one year, KRA tells Diasporians

Here are some tips on how you can get to the next level:

 

  1. Know and demonstrate your strength: You must explore your abilities and maximize on them. No one will tell you about your strength. Take charge of your life and move to influence the world.
  2. Develop a Skill: Anyone without a skill in today’s world is like a blind man who is not trained on how to walk. Learn a skill and let the world know that you have it. Once the world has known, you will be paid for it. Just start learning today!
  3. Never stop fighting for the life you want: It is that simple, gold is not collected like gravel, you have to dig down and after that, you will still need to melt it. Work on your life and use it to influence the world. Just stop being lazy and toxic to yourself. Be positive and influence the world.
  4. Use team work in order to excel: One hand is limited and many hands make the work lighter. Work to develop your followers to be leaders. Collaboration works magic. Work with others and influence the world in a much larger scale.
  5. Maintain Key social bonds: Develop a habit of supporting others. If you support someone today, there are 95% chances that the person will stand with you when you need them.
READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Speaker Muturi launches Huduma Namba drive for Kenyans in Ukraine, meets Prime Minister

Go forth now, dominate and influence your world positively.

Thoughts by: George Wachiuri: A Leading Entrepreneur, a Published Author, Philanthropist, Youth Empowerment Enthusiast, a Family man and CEO of Optiven Group

Contact Optiven Group:0723 400 500 Email: info@optiven.co.ke Websitewww.optiven.co.ke
George Wachiuri Blogwww.georgewachiuri.com
YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/user/OptivenEnterprises/

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