Alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind pleads not guilty to defrauding 4 000 out of R76m

2018-11-05 17:05

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Alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind Goodman Goqo – accused of defrauding more than 4 000 people out of R76m – pleaded not guilty to all 16 452 charges against him on Monday.

"We are making no admissions. The State must prove its case," his attorney Nosizwe Bantwana told Durban Regional Court Magistrate Simphiwe Hlophe.

The case against Goqo, who ran his business Ingede Mineral Holdings from an office in Crooked Lane, Hillcrest, is contained in 16 very large boxes.

Key witness, forensic auditor Eckhard Volker, who was appointed by the Reserve Bank to take control of the company and find the money, said he could not bring all the boxes to court because there were just too many.

Acting 'as a bank'

It has taken seven years for the trial to start and, since his arrest in January 2012, Goqo has appeared in court more than 100 times, with the matter being adjourned on multiple occasions.

It was recently removed from the Commercial Crime Court roll, because of a shortage of courts, and allocated to Hlophe to hear the matter for the rest of this week.

It will likely be adjourned thereafter to confirm new court dates.

The lengthy charge sheet, read out by prosecutor Hazel Siraramen, alleges that Goqo and Ingede "acted as a bank".

"He promised investors that he would invest their money on the stock exchange, offering them a return of 30% monthly interest over six months, and guaranteeing the capital.

"Instead he used the money for his own purposes."

Apart from fraud and alternative theft charges, he is also facing charges of contravening the Banks Act, the Financial Protection of Funds Act and the Financial Intelligence Centre Act.

Volker, who is considered an expert on Ponzi schemes, handed in a 66-page affidavit in which he details how the alleged scheme operated and where the money allegedly went – on posh cars, expensive watches and clothing, valued at more than R2m.

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