Edwafin hits back at critics

2010-10-20 00:00

EMBATTLED investment firm Edwafin, which was placed in liquidation in May 2009, has come back with threats of legal action against its detractors.

The www.edwafin.co.za website, which claims to represent former CEO Patrick Stapleton and other directors, took a swipe at bloggers and the media for their ongoing criticism of the Hillcrest-based investment firm, which is estimated to have lost investors over R200 million.

Said the website, “Most of the bloggers are not known to us and have never met any of the directors. The few that are known are mainly ex-Edwafin staff members who have an axe to grind, largely because their services were terminated by Edwafin for a variety of reasons.”

The site, which does not appear to have any contact details, went on to counter the criticism and reporting, saying: “It is clear that in some cases criminal charges could be brought against certain individuals for crimen injuria.”

Included on the site is a testimonial by an undisclosed investor, who comments: “There were potentially very viable business operations and huge activity was in progress.

“At all times the risk was evident as this was a start-up venture capital project.

“The risks were clearly stated and the choice to participate was solely my/investors choice and we did this by signing the application for debentures.”

A key focus of the site is the defence of its various business units: car manufacturer DMC, Rainbow Paints, the Heritage Theatre and the Therahaler medical product.

The company argued the debentures it was selling to investors were high-risk by nature.

However, burnt investor Mario Koppers was not impressed by the new website, pointing other stakeholders back to a court ruling in June 2010. At the ruling, he said, the judge declared that the company was running a Ponzi scheme, “in itself a fraudulent transaction rendering every director who was a party to it liable for the losses suffered”.

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