Con artist punished

2019-03-06 06:00

After being on the run for over two years, investment scheme fraudster Lebohang Innocent Moopelwa (29) was sentenced to ten years’ impri­sonment, suspended for five years.

Moopelwa was sentenced on 26 February in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court.

The court convicted Moopelwa for the contravention of the Bank Act – in that he unlawfully conducted the business of a bank, and for the contravention of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

WO Lynda Steyn, spokesperson of the Hawks, said the court found that Moopelwa acted as a financial service provider without being issued with the obligatory licence.

She said the accused pleaded guilty to running a bogus investment scheme in which he had swindled investors out of thousands of rands. The scheme operated for just over three months.

Steyn said Moopelwa operated an investment scheme known as “Piano Investment (Pty) Ltd t/a Binary 24 Investment” in and around Bloemfontein.

She said investigation revealed that through the scheme Moopelwa managed to recruit 15 depositors who invested a total of R421 000 in his scheme.

“He promised them higher earnings on their capital. The scheme soon fizzled out, hardly three months after its inception.

“Moopelwa vanished with the depositors’ hard-earned money once it became clear that he could not keep up with paying the promised interest.

“The investors’ attempt to recoup their money was unsuccessful, as Moopelwa was nowhere to be found,” said Steyn.

According to the Hawks’ findings, Moopelwa opera­ted the scheme from 18 January until 25 March 2016.

The long arm of the law caught up with Moopelwa on 25 August last year as he was arrested after being on the run for over two years.

This followed after victims opened cases at the police after their failed attempts of recouping their money from Moopelwa.

Steyn said Moopelwa had the ten years’ imprisonment suspended for five years on the condition that he is not convicted of a similar offence during the suspended period.


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