Property mogul Machanik under criminal investigation

2011-01-13 09:04

Property mogul Wendy Machanik is now the subject of a criminal investigation for allegedly committing theft and/or fraud.

City Press has established that the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has opened a docket against Machanik at the Norwood Police Station for allegedly stealing R25 million from her agency’s trust accounts.

The EAAB has informed the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the findings of its forensic investigation into Wendy Machanik Properties (WMP).

City Press has learned that an officer from the police’s Commercial Crimes Unit and a senior prosecutor have been appointed to deal with the matter.

The EAAB’s three-pronged strategy in dealing with Machanik is now clear:

» First the board obtained a provisional interdict against WMP, barring Machanik from operating her trust accounts and appointing a curator to look after the agency’s trust funds;

» Then the board filed a second court application, scheduled to be heard by the North Gauteng High Court today, asking for an order prohibiting WMP and its 300 agents from operating; and

» Lastly, the EAAB laid criminal charges against Machanik and her agency with the police.

This comes after forensic firm Pasco found that Machanik and her chief financial officer, Bruce Bernstein, allegedly dipped into clients’ deposits to keep the agency afloat.

You can follow City Press’ coverage from the North Gauteng High Court today.

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