Johannes Naude was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi.
He will be back in court on December 6 for his bail application.
Allegations are that sometime in August last year, the complainant wanted to purchase bulk fuel.
He engaged Philani and Nkonsilathi Sibanda to look for a genuine supplier for his service station in Victoria Falls.
Sibanda engaged his friend, Paul Zhou, who then linked him with Naude, and his two accomplices, who are on the run.
They purported to be employees of a company called ZIANE Petroleum (Pvt) Ltd, which they claimed was located at No. 31 Baywater, Highlands, Harare.
Philani and Nkosilathi had a meeting with Naude and his accomplices on September 8 last year.
The trio indicated that their company had the capacity to supply 40 000 litres of diesel every week at the price of US$1,009 per litre.
The following day, the complainant sent one of the Sibanda brothers to collect the fuel and deposited US$23 000 into a bank account registered in the name of Gainmore Paka.
One Maphosa, who claimed to be a truck driver of the trio’s company, indicated he was going to Msasa to make arrangements to load the fuel. He called indicating he had loaded the fuel and asked the Sibanda brother to wait at Whitehouse so he could pick them up on his way to Bulawayo.
They only realised that they had been duped when Maphosa’s phone was no longer reachable.
The matter was then reported to the police and investigations led to the arrest of Naude.
Pardon Dziva appeared for the State.