Alleged con-woman and defrauder of SPCA arrested

2016-12-23 09:50
A Howick police detective and private investigator Brad Nathanson on Thursday arrested a Howick woman charged with defrauding the Umngeni SPCA. The arrest was made at a farm outside Howick.

A Howick police detective and private investigator Brad Nathanson on Thursday arrested a Howick woman charged with defrauding the Umngeni SPCA. The arrest was made at a farm outside Howick. (Ian Carbutt)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Howick woman who was charged with fraud by the Umngeni SPCA three months ago was arrested on Thursday, two days after her return to South Africa.

The former Umngeni SPCA employee, a well-known Howick local, was charged by the SPCA for diverting donations to the value of R321 000 meant for the Umngeni SPCA to her account before skipping the country.

The woman, who cannot be named until she appears in court, was allegedly exposed when an elderly resident called the SPCA asking for a tax certificate after she had donated a substantial amount of money.

The SPCA said the money had never reached their bank account.

After an internal investigation, the SPCA discovered that their former employee had allegedly transferred money meant for them into her personal account.

A source close to the SPCA said in a Witness article published last month that the woman had fled the country before the charges had been brought against her.

The source also said they believed some 32 counts of fraud have been tallied against the employee.

The woman is thought to have targeted pensioners at high-end retirement villages where she would garner their trust in an attempt to procure monetary donations for the SPCA.

It is believed that she switched the account number to her own, but kept the SPCA’s account name, when giving the details to her targets.

The woman is believed to have arrived at King Shaka International Airport on Monday night, however, no arrest was made as the warrant for her arrest had not yet been issued.

On Thursday, private investigator Brad Nathanson along with the Howick police, tracked her down to a farm just outside Howick, where she was arrested.

The woman and her mother were sitting on the patio of the farm house when the police and Nathanson arrived.

The woman, who was wearing a white shirt and denim shorts, and had her hair pulled back, immediately burst into tears as she saw Nathanson and the two policemen walking towards her.

The woman was placed under arrest and read her rights before she climbed into the back of a Howick detective’s unmarked vehicle.

With tears streaming down her face, she asked for her cigarettes and for her mother to bring her handbag to the police station.

While at the station, the woman smiled tearfully at her mother, who told her daughter to “relax”.

Nathanson said after the woman had fled the country, he had posted on his Facebook page, Brad Nathanson Investigations, asking people who had donated money through her to come forward.

More charges expected against alleged donor thief

“We were inundated with calls, e-mails, and Facebook messages from people wanting to remain anonymous, telling stories about her,” said Nathanson.

From there, he received information on Tuesday that the woman would be returning to South Africa later that night.

The warrant for her arrest was issued at 2.20 pm on Wednesday and yesterday, following a tipoff, Nathanson and the Howick police made their move.

Umngeni SPCA chairperson Dave Taylor said the woman was arrested in connection with criminal charges laid against her by the SPCA and that the amount allegedly diverted to her was R321 000.

He said the file would remain open as more people were expected to come forward.

He urged anyone who feels their monetary donations did not reach the SPCA to contact the organisation.

Mountain Rise police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim confirmed the woman was arrested on Thursday afternoon for fraud and is expected to appear in the Howick Magistrate’s Court on Friday [today].

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  spca

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Chocolate can be fatal for dogs

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine that is similar to caffeine and is toxic to dogs at certain levels.



Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Watch: Proof animals have souls
Would you clone your pet?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.