Millions 'disappear' from Cape estate agency account

Cape Town - The owner of a Cape Town real estate agency says he was shocked to discover that millions have "disappeared" from his trust account.
"I do not know what happened to the money, but I am going to get to the bottom of this," Beyers Swanepoel Trollip, principal of Beyers Realty Group, told Fin24.

Trollip claims he has laid charges against his financial team at the SA Police Service and also "reported everything" to the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB).

In a bid to allay clients' fears Trollip said: "Basically I am turning to the media now in order to assure my clients and the public at large that I am not running away. I did nothing wrong and the police are investigating the case."

He emphasised repeatedly that he only wants to put his clients at ease that he is not "running away".

"I did nothing wrong. I was never involved in any mismanagement of money. The police are investigating the matter.

"I have monies due in commissions and have also put my house up for sale to cover the missing amount. I will sort this out, save my business and restore its name," he said.

READ: Make sure you price your property correctly

Trollip said he started the real estate business about three years ago and the business is in a 50/50 partnership. The agency has branches all over Cape Town as well as the rest of South Africa and employs about 100 people.
Because of his extensive experience in the real estate business, Trollip said he was in charge of sales, while his partner handled the financial side along with a team of four.
"We made good money and were living our dream," said Trollip.

That was until he received a call last week from an attorney demanding certain sums of money for deals that have gone through. That was the first time Trollip claims he was made aware by his auditor of the millions "missing" from the trust account.
"I could not believe it. Just recently the business received a clean audit," claims Trollip.

"I now suspect that my trust account has been completely abused. An investigation is, therefore, now under way to establish what happened to the money and - more importantly - who was responsible."

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