Charges against Lerlin keep mounting

2014-05-16 00:00

CRIMINAL charges being laid against KZN con-artist Lerlin Goss have steadily increased with the police expected to apply for a warrant for her arrest soon.

But while the net around the multiple fraudster closes in, further allegations of fraud, including the issuing of fake cheques, and at least six new victims have been identified.

New estimations have put Lerlin’s fraud spree in excess of R1 million, crippling small businesses from Pietermaritzburg to Durban and forcing some businesses to close and rack up unnecessary debt.

But her estranged husband Ashley, who on Wednesday said he might divorce his lying wife, has come out to defend her, claiming she is not on the run.

Lerlin ran Pietermaritzburg-based Goss Real Estate (also known as Rawson’s Corporation) which claimed to have an extensive property development portfolio, including projects in Ballito, Amanzimtoti and the provincial capital. She claimed to have several degrees including a “MBA in real estate and finance from the University of Unisa”. It has emerged that the Goss Real Estate business profile and her qualifications were lifted off a U.S.-based estate agency website with just the location and currency changed. She disappeared this month and has been unreachable since.

She has also been accused of issuing fraudulent EFTs and issuing cheques that always bounced.

Moses Rajah, who provided a body-guarding service for Lerlin and is owed in excess of R130 000, said his own investigation had found Lerlin issued “fake cheques” and that she had held several bank accounts, including an FNB business cheque account for Rawson’s Corporation with an overdraft facility of R500 000.

“One day she claimed to have been wired R128 million, had a R25 million home in Umhlanga and over R25 million in life insurance. I don’t believe any of it,” he said.

SAPS detective Warrant Officer Frans Bezuidenhout said he has had a “massive” influx of complaints and charges laid since articles first started appearing in The Witness this week.

“I am handling 10 cases alone but more cases have been opened at other police stations. I urge anyone who believes they have been defrauded by Mrs Goss to contact me and I urge Mrs Goss to also make contact,” said Bezuidenhout, adding the police will be making an application for a warrant of arrest soon.

Ashley has denied his wife is on the run and defended his wife, despite earlier this week saying he may divorce her. Yesterday he said the fraudulent payments were not her fault but that of her CEO Shaylee Janniker — charges Janniker has denied.

“Why would she be on the run. Okay, so she needs to pay a few bills but nobody has come forward [to complain],” said Ashley.

If you want to lay a charge with the SAPS, contact Bezuidenhout on 083 383 7984.

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