Woman told to repay R4m to man she duped

2013-07-30 23:11

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Cape Town - A Ukrainian mother who duped an elderly man into investing R4m with a Ukrainian bank, but kept the money for herself, was on Tuesday given seven months to repay the money, or face prison.

Kateryna Karpovska appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, before Magistrate Amrith Chabilall.

Chabilall said she had been in a romantic relationship with the man and the method she had used to cheat him was a disgrace.

He sentenced her to eight years' jail, suspended for five years, on condition that the money was repaid by 28 February.

He said she had the means to repay it, according to defence attorney Pieter du Toit.

In addition, she was sentenced to three years' house arrest, and ordered to do community service as a cleaner at the Table View police station.

Chabilall said Karpovska had qualified for the minimum sentence of 15 years for a first-time offender, for fraud involving R500 000 or more.

All that had saved her was that her children were with her in South Africa, and to jail her would leave them in a foreign country without support.

"This is the one single factor that saved you from going to prison for 15 years," he told her.

Karpovska was appointed by the Ukrainian Joint-Stock Commercial Bank, better known as the Imexbank, as the chief representative officer (CRO) with the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb).

In all, she was sentenced on four counts of fraud, one contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and one violation of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

According to the charge sheet, the bank eventually closed its South African representative office in March 2008.

Karpovska failed to inform the Sarb of this, and fraudulently continued as the Imexbank's CRO with the Sarb.

In the R4m fraud, she falsely informed the man not only that she was Imexbank's CRO, but also its chief wealth manager.

"It is disgraceful that a woman can do such a thing to a trusting man," Chabilall said.

Read more on:    south african reserve bank  |  cape town

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