Siblings lose plea to drop fraud charges

2014-05-07 00:00

DURBAN-BASED financial broker Mervyn Dennis and his sister, Mary Ann Peter, accused of defrauding pensioners and others of millions of rands in a fraudulent investment scheme, failed yesterday to persuade the high court to review a magistrate’s refusal to grant a stay of prosecution in the case.

High court Judges Themba Sishi and Nompumelelo Radebe found the matter was not reviewable.

The only recourse the accused now have is to approach the Supreme Court of Appeals for permission to appeal the magistrate’s ruling.

Dennis was charged initially in 2006, but the charges were withdrawn to enable the state to finalise its investigations. The case was reinstated in March 2010.

The accused face 2 505 counts of fraud (alternatively theft) and of contravening the Banks Act.

The state alleges that Dennis started an investment club, Global Investments, in 1998, promising investors that the money would be invested on the JSE and that returns would be excellent.

It is alleged that about R139 million was invested in the club from 1998 to 2005, but that only R4,9 million was invested on the stock market.

About R61 million was used to repay investors and the rest was allegedly spent by Dennis on gambling, jewellery and payments to car dealerships.

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