Anger at PI mounts

2014-07-23 00:00

MORE irate former clients of celebrity private investigator Brad Nathanson have come forward — amid allegations that he fleeced others of fortunes in fees.

The Witness yesterday revealed that the prolific private eye faced criminal prosecution for a string of theft by false pretences charges. He is accused of duping some of his clients, taking sizable deposits for investigations and then vanishing with the cash. He has denied the claims, saying he is the victim of a professional vendetta.

Yesterday, Howick farmer Peter Train said that his run-in with Nathanson had left him out of pocket.

“In 2012, I secured the services of Brad to help us investigate a case on our farm in the KZN Midlands,” he said.

“I paid him R30 000 to start working and he never did a thing. The way he operated with the other people was exactly the same as my experience, I have a string of e-mails that went unanswered and he avoided my calls — I eventually gave up trying,” he said.

Train said that given the complaints of Nathanson’s other clients, he would be pursuing a criminal case.

Montrose, Pietermaritzburg, resident Ronnie Manikum said that he too had paid Nathanson.

“I paid him to investigate a robbery case when my work vehicle was broken into and he never did the work. He is a real slippery character,” he said.

Rival investigator Sean Peirce said that a flurry of new cases challenged Nathanson’s claim that he was the victim of a professional vendetta.

“I have been flooded with calls from more of his clients who are willing to come forward … There is no way that he can say that this is a professional witch-hunt. I have received nearly 70 e-mails today alone,” he said.

“At the end of the day this case is about being honest, and that is why I am championing this cause. I am hoping that this will restore some modicum of faith in our industry because he [Nathanson] has tarnished it,” Peirce added.

Peirce had opened two cases of theft at the Durban North police station, and this number is expected to rise.

With a collection of dockets the ­National Prosecuting Authority may opt for a commercial criminal prosecution, removing it from the realm of civil litigation.

Nathanson did not respond to questions at the time of going to press.

• jeff.wicks@witness.co.za

082 073 8565

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