Physiotherapist pleads guilty to fraud
Pretoria - Rustenburg physiotherapist Jurry Sehunoe pleaded guilty to 28 counts of money laundering and 15 cases of fraud in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday.
Sehunoe, 33, together with former labour department employees Maxwell Ramaphosa and Samuel Mfeleng, was accused of defrauding the Compensation Fund of more than R3m.
His trial will now be handled separately, leaving Ramaphosa and Mfeleng to plead their innocence in a different court.
Magistrate Nika Setshogoe granted the separation of trial.
Claims not paid
In a written affidavit read out by his lawyer, Sehunoe told the court he had run a physiotherapy business in Rustenburg since 2004.
"Most of the financial claims for accident victims I made on behalf of my clients to the department of labour's compensation fund were not paid," Sehunoe said.
"I then approached Mfeleng who later introduced me to Ramaphosa in January 2009. The two agreed to assist me get payment for my clients' claims."
By then, Mfeleng and Ramaphosa were employed by the department as senior administration clerks in Gauteng.
He said large sums of money were deposited into his account before the two approached him to say the money was theirs and he could share with them.
He was shown records indicating that the money had not been paid out for claims he had made.
"They took advantage of my vulnerability and enticed me with cash. I did not want to be part of the scheme, but later took part of the money and used it for personal consumption."
Regular payments were made into Sehunoe's three FNB accounts between February and December 2009.
He would transfer some of the money into the accounts of the other two. Mfeleng's share would be deposited into his Gladiator Driving School account.
Sehunoe said he spent R539 352 of the money and was willing to pay it back.
Out on bail
According to court papers, several fictitious claims were made to the compensation fund "at inflated prices beyond the applicable rates".
Sehunoe was arrested in May 2010 for fraud relating to more than R2m and money laundering.
Sehuoe's bail was extended to January 17 2012 when sentencing procedures will start with the submission of a pre-sentencing report.
Ramaphosa and Mfeleng will appear in a different court on November 1.
All three are out on R3 000 bail each.