Fraudster admits R6 mln con

2012-06-22 00:00

AN investment consultant pleaded guilty to 37 counts of fraud at the high court in Rams­gate yesterday.

Thando Kwatsha (35) admitted that he had defrauded clients of R5,955 million between 2008 and 2010.

Kwatsha, who was employed at Standard Bank, told the court that he had fraudulently led clients to believe that their money would be deposited into long- and short-term investments with Standard Bank and Liberty Life.

Judge Simon King Ndlovu remanded Kwatsha in custody. He was released on bail of R8 000 after his arrest in February 2010.

According to the indictment, Kwatsha, who worked at branches in Kokstad, Matatiele and Ixopo, allegedly stole sums of money from clients ranging from R50 000 to R250 000.

He is unable to reimburse the complainants.

The money was deposited in the bank account of Messin Projects CC, a company in which Kwatsha’s father was a partner.

In his plea, Kwatsha said he had committed the fraud to help his father secure payments for his business partner at the company and that he had only been given R40 000.

Prosecutor Sasha Jacobs said the state accepted Kwatsha’s plea.

Defence advocate Mergan Chetty asked for a sentence of correctional supervision, but Judge Ndlovu said the sums stolen were large.

Erik Larsen, media relations manager for Standard Bank, said the bank had a zero tolerance policy for fraud.

“Standard Bank welcomes any findings by the court and SAPS on this case. We trust that the court will decide on a sentence that is fair and appropriate,” he said.

The case continues today.

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