8 years in jail for businessman who defrauded Absa of millions - Hawks

2017-03-17 16:51


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Cape Town – A businessman was sentenced to eight years in jail in the Oudtshoorn Magistrate's Court on Thursday for defrauding Absa bank of nearly R5m.

A statement issued by Western Cape Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha said Ockert Johannes Stephanus Fourie, 57, was the sole director of the close corporation Sunprix Grape and Citrus Distribution.

He was accused of defrauding Absa of an amount of R4 866 819.98.

"This occurred after he had successfully transacted with the bank on previous occasions, thereby gaining the bank's trust resulting in the said transaction being approved without the requisite proof," Ramovha said.

"Money was paid into his account with the understanding that he was due to receive about €597 535 from overseas corporations he had allegedly exported fruits to."

He said Fourie had used the money and the bank never received the foreign currency as expected.

"Fourie subsequently switched his business account to a different bank."

Ramovha said Fourie was arrested in October 2014 and convicted in December 2016.

"He has been granted leave to appeal and is out on bail with stringent conditions pending the application's outcome."

If it 'looks too good to be true' it usually is

In a separate case, Jaco van der Westhuizen, 35, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Tuesday for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme.

Ramovha said this resulted in investors losing "just over a million rand".

It was alleged that between August 25, 2015, and July 11, 2016, Van Der Westhuizen "lured unsuspecting members of the public to invest their money with him and promised them higher than normal returns, which never materialised. The investors suffered losses amounting to approximately R1 078 600.00".

According to Ramovha, the serious commercial crimes unit of the Hawks found that Van Der Westhuizen was not registered, as is required, in accordance with the Financial Services Board.

The case was postponed to April 7.

Van Der Westhuizen was released on R10 000 bail.

"[We] would like to appeal to members of the public to always be cautious when it comes to their hard earned money.

"Any investment that looks too good to be true, is usually the case," Ramovha said.

Read more on:    absa  |  hawks  |  cape town  |  fraud  |  crime

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