News24

SA man jailed for R58m UK fraud

2011-09-17 09:45

Johannesburg - A South African man who attempted to defraud British tax authorities of almost R58m was sentenced to four years in prison by the Central Criminal Court in London, according to a report on Saturday.

Lawrence Goldberg, 47, from Johannesburg, pleaded guilty to registering more than 50 false companies as nominated tax agents, the Saturday Star reported.

He submitted thousands of fraudulent tax returns from the mid-2000s using both fictitious identities and those of innocent people.
Cheques sent by the government to the false tax agents for clients, were instead pocketed by Goldberg and transferred to offshore accounts.

The newspaper reported that Goldberg fled England for Portugal in 2007 after being discovered, but continued operations before returning to South Africa.

He and his wife were arrested by local officials for bank fraud and kept in custody until February, when they were released. Days later, British authorities requested their arrest and they were extradited. Charges were dropped, but Goldberg this week admitted to the crimes.

He received a four-year sentence, suspended for two years because of the length of time spent in custody in South Africa.

An unnamed spokesperson for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs said investigators were attempting to track the stolen money. It was unclear whether Goldberg would be deported after completing his sentence.

Comments
  • sipholess - 2011-09-17 09:51

    First world country my friend......you dont get away with it there.

      sabc10 - 2011-09-17 10:44

      in a way he has go away with it...in certain countries such people would be executed efficiently instead of carrying on for 10 years.Many of these type of people are getting away with it already.

      Michael - 2011-09-17 14:08

      For that kind of money, who wouldn't want to spend some jail time?

      Wittes - 2011-09-17 15:46

      @ Michael. Especially in a British prison. Sorry, I meant hotel.

  • myancmyfutur - 2011-09-17 09:53

    I bet he left SA because of crime, unlike SA, Brittish justice justice is colour blind

      cliffarc - 2011-09-17 10:03

      - As is their employment criteria.

      Chingchao - 2011-09-17 10:14

      No, he left South Africa because he was a criminal

      Phiwe - 2011-09-17 10:32

      Actually there is AA in Britain, from employment to university.

      sabc10 - 2011-09-17 10:47

      Ironically, In South Africa " justice " is not colour blind

      cliffarc - 2011-09-17 11:42

      - Phiwe - I think you'll find their AA policies are in favour of minorities.

      Phiwe - 2011-09-17 11:47

      Minorities in the UK tend to be grossly disadvantaged. Only in SA the disadvantaged are the majority...shows just how well apartheid worked.

      Servaas - 2011-09-17 11:59

      @Phiwe:"and AA exists everywhere to help the disadvantaged. " WRONG.. AA Exists to help the buggers that want hand outs.. I never have and never will respect AA. I got my job on performance, not because of skin color.

      Phiwe - 2011-09-17 12:04

      @ Servass - well I am not wrong. AA exists for an obvious reason, it's helps people to help themselves. Of course they have to have the qualifications and skills, which is the case in SA aswell and you cant say I'm wrong. But if you do, then give me an example of someone employed by a company to a high position without the skills and qualifications

      cliffarc - 2011-09-17 12:05

      - Hmm - and your Anc are doing a mighty fine job in uplifting the disadvantaged. Seen as though your point of reference is a 20 yr old defunct party ,tell me is there possibly anything you find lacking with the Anc govt. of the day ?

      Phiwe - 2011-09-17 12:12

      ever heard of the so called black diamonds growing at an exceedingly high rate?? From rags to ritches. From disadvantaged to comfortable :)

      cliffarc - 2011-09-17 12:40

      - Not so fast Phiwe - you're running away without answering my question. Oh and sure we know all about the black diamonds, representing maybe 5% of the black poulation , who got there through close connections to the Anc. The inconvenient truths always stump your type.

      unwanted - 2011-09-18 11:09

      If the ANC was doing anything to help the MAJORITY of previously disadvantaged then AA would not be necessary. Just by sheer force of numbers they would squeeze the whites out of the workplace. However, at the moment they are doing nothing to help the poor but only trying to help themselves. Those that are already skilled and their children are reaping the benefits of AA because they are automatically considered ahead of the others. And actually Phiwe I spoke yesterday to a black guy who was a trainee in my office a few years back. He got a job as a manager immediately after qualifying over many more qualified and experienced people who applied. He has just stepped down as manager, his exact words to me were: "My PA resigned and the new one would only do her job, so I couldnt handle the stress" In other words, he is admitting that his previous PA did all his work, whilst he got the glory and the salary. Probably why she resigned.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-17 09:58

    Well done! If only the same can be done in SA! well,saying that - half of the government will be in jail! But the fact is,more than half should have been in jail for deceiving the public with their corruption and incompetency!

      Sizwe - 2011-09-17 20:43

      Maybe you should google J. Arthur Brown before you speak BS boet...

      pawsaw - 2011-09-17 21:38

      Oh and Maureen Clifford as well. However Africans are not above doing very much the same thing to their own people so it is using double standards to point only at a couple of cases perpetrated by white criminals like Goldberg without remembering that while Africans may lose less in scams like this they still commit scams on their own people in different ways.

  • Dead Skunk - 2011-09-17 10:22

    Four years for 58M sterling can't be bad, and he's only going to serve 2 in a British prison...and he bank it offshore...Dude rocks...

      barry.mcbride - 2011-09-17 10:37

      58m Rands, not Sterling!

      Sven - 2011-09-17 10:38

      Just over £5 million, S.A, Rands 58 million. Try reading the article properly. But I agree, the Justice in the UK is weak, and the "Time" seldom fits the "Crime"

      Dead Skunk - 2011-09-17 11:25

      Well I'm sorry...but R58M is still worth it I could do a lot with that...It calculates to about 483 333 beers

      Grant - 2011-09-17 11:33

      FAIL! Also,he is not serving 2 years, "He received a four-year sentence, suspended for two years because of the length of time spent in custody in South Africa." Are you maybe a 2010 matriculant that your reading and comprehension skills are so poor?

      Grant - 2011-09-17 11:42

      Just by the way, the article reports that he "attempted to defraud British tax authorities of almost R58m". Emphasis on the word 'attempted' Typical poor news 24 reporting - there is no mention of the amount he actually got away with! In all likelyhood a fraction of that amount in light of the extremely lenient sentence.

      M5 - 2011-09-17 15:41

      @DeadSkunk: Jislaaik... Where do you buy your beers @ R120 a bottle!!! Calculate again... Not having a good day hey!!!

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-17 22:25

      M5...... BREWERS and UNION beers cost about that!

  • Zenzele - 2011-09-17 11:25

    UK is not South Africa my friend where you can bribe the police, no one gets away with such activities for a long time here.

      iranianprince - 2011-09-17 11:33

      kinda like the News of the World scandle. Two top cops and the press secretary arrested?? for corruption and bribery. Expats certainly have rose tainted glasses

      4skin - 2011-09-17 11:33

      Police are bribed in the UK, what do you think the UK is?

      Grant - 2011-09-17 11:45

      @iranwhatever - Zenzele points out that you don't get away for it for long in the UK, which you have supported in your statement about the top cops getting arrested - seen many top cops arrested in SA recently have you?

      Sizwe - 2011-09-17 20:46

      @Grant. Ever heard of Jackie Selebi, whose career is "finish and klaar" nou...!

  • iranianprince - 2011-09-17 11:31

    Theres AA in all 'white' countries. In the US gov contracts consider non whites first. so AA isn't there to support a majority or minority it's just a nice way of saying 'for blacks only'

      barry.mcbride - 2011-09-17 12:00

      Incorrect, BEE is but AA is not for Blacks only!

  • Daan - 2011-09-17 11:37

    Must be malema's far off cousin?

  • Yislaaik - 2011-09-17 12:25

    He can't defraud any of our authorities because they already have no money left. So, like most of our professionals, he has left the country to start a new life and earn a living there.

  • Thabiso - 2011-09-17 14:46

    He received a four-year sentence, suspended for two years.................

      unwanted - 2011-09-18 11:12

      The converse is sizwe, cases againt whites get to court quicker and are resolved quicker. Maybe whites just co-operate with the police and therefore get lighter sentences.

  • Chabi - 2011-09-17 20:34

    Aha !! no plea bargains for you my friend ... its Jail time & no money, You should stuck to defrauding the "Die Volkskas"...

      Yislaaik - 2011-09-17 20:50

      Volkskas has already paid their entire assets to BEE. All their accounts have nil balances, no money in the tills either. Their could be some small fish and chip shop that has not been robbed yet, but he must be quick. He could make R52 in an evening AND get away with it with these lazy cops.

  • pawsaw - 2011-09-17 21:30

    @ Phiwe: The majority in SA being disadvantaged has absolutely nothing to do with colonialism or apartheid. If you go back and check the numbers of Africans and their infrastructure in SA from 1652 to 2011 I think you will find that lets call them insurgents from elsewhere were always outnumbered by about 10 to one. t might interest you to know that the imperialists/colonialists of Africa did not arrive to discover cities and infrastructure of any kind and to begin with did not set out to wipe out the nomadic agrarian socities they encountered here as America did with the Native Indians they encountered. Africans here were taught to become a cargo society to whom the imperialists could sell their goods and thus create a consumer society for the luxury goods which colonists imported from abroad. In order to sustain this the imperialists created and sustained an artificial economy and actually improved life epectancy among the indigenous people thus leading to a larger disparity in numbers between the minority whites and majority blacks. For better or for worse that is what we descendents who live here have to work with and resolve peacefully if possible. African Americans are a minority and they are only now emerging from oppression.

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