Cape fraudsters wait to be sentenced

2011-11-28 18:35

Cape Town - The sentencing of a Western Cape man and woman convicted of embezzling money from 10 medical doctors was delayed on Monday.

The Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court postponed the matter when the woman ended her Legal Aid lawyer's mandate.

Former broker Francois Hendrik du Plessis was to be sentenced on 41 counts of theft, 35 of fraud, six of money-laundering and one of forgery.

With him in the dock was Elmarie von Willigh, a former company director who had possession and control of all of Du Plessis' files relating to Old Mutual.

She was found guilty on 41 counts of theft, 22 of fraud, six of money-laundering and one of uttering (presentation of a forged document).

At Monday's proceedings, Legal Aid attorney Haley Lawrence, who had represented Du Plessis and Von Willigh, told the court that she no longer represented Von Willigh.

Von Willigh had obtained the services of privately-funded advocate Adrian Samuels.

Samuels told Magistrate Amrith Chabillal that his client's employer was paying his fees, and that he needed time to obtain a social worker's report concerning Von Willigh's minor children.

Von Willigh was the sole-provider for the children, he said.

Samuels said he had received the brief to represent her only last Monday.

Chabillal said he was dismayed at the delay, as Von Willigh had since late October to arrange for the report.

He postponed the case to December 13, and warned Von Willigh to ensure the social worker's presence in court to be question about the report if necessary.