Lawyer faces 19 charges of theft

2015-08-31 09:56


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DISBARRED Pietermaritzburg ­attorney Sundeep Singh is now facing 19 charges of theft involving more than R7 million.

This is after the state on Friday ­added more theft charges to his charge sheet.

Singh was initially charged with only one count of theft of R876 736 from a widow, Radha Govender, who was ­allegedly due to receive the money from the Road Accident Fund.

However, the state made it clear from the outset that the investigations against Singh were continuing and that it was planning to add further counts to the charge sheet.

When Singh appeared in court on Friday, another 18 counts were listed on the charge sheet, totalling
R6 590 768.

The case was then postponed until October 30, pending representations to be made to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions on Singh’s ­behalf by his lawyers.

The nature of the representations is not known.

Singh was struck off the roll of ­attorneys in April last year, after choosing not to defend an application brought by the KZN Law Society for his name to be removed from the roll.

The application was brought after he was suspended in February last year.

It emerged in the court papers that it was the second time in his career that Singh was struck off the roll of ­attorneys for the theft of trust funds.

He was first struck off in November 1993 for stealing R249 000 in trust money that was part of the estate of the late K.R. Singh.

Singh owned up to the theft and ­repaid the stolen money.

He had initially fled to India with his family to escape criminal charges, but later had a change of heart and ­returned voluntarily to South Africa in December 1993 to face trial.

After pleading guilty, he was ­sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, of which three years were suspended.

The sentence was later converted to correctional supervision.

Singh was readmitted as an attorney in 2002 and stated at the time that he was ashamed of his actions.

Pearl Arnold-Mfusi of the KZN Law Society said in support of the ­application to strike Singh off the roll again last year that it seemed he had not been rehabilitated.

She alleged the Law Society had ­evidence that he stole R876 736,50 which was paid into his trust account by the Road Accident Fund on behalf of his client, Radha Govender, in 2009.

Arnold-Mfusi said it was alleged that Singh (then working for Neven Singh & Associates) was mandated in 2007 to pursue a claim against the RAF on behalf of Govender and her three children, after her husband was killed in a car accident. Singh later took over the file when he moved to his own practice.

He allegedly failed to inform ­Govender when the money was paid into his trust account on July 31, 2009, and created the impression that there were delays in the matter.

When Govender discovered his alleged deception in May last year, Singh allegedly offered to repay the money, but subsequently failed to do so.

Shortly after he being struck off the roll for the second time, Singh was charged in the criminal court.
He is on bail of R10 000 pending his trial.

Read more on:    court  |  lawyer

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