Attorney struck off roll

2018-05-15 16:48
Jan Adriaan Venter and Rozanne Vosloo. This photograph was printed in Venter’s funeral pamphlet.

Jan Adriaan Venter and Rozanne Vosloo. This photograph was printed in Venter’s funeral pamphlet. (Supplied )

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Notorious for faking his own death, Jan Adriaan Venter has been struck off the roll of attorneys for misappropriating more than R4,5 million from his trust account.

The application came before Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Trevor Gorven and Acting Judge Siva Chetty on Monday and it was unopposed. Attorney Pat Dewes told the judges that the papers were served on Venter’s mother because Venter visits her.

He disappeared in July last year, a week after the society brought the court application and was granted an interim order, stopping him from practising and freezing his bank accounts. A funeral was then held for him in his hometown Vryheid which was well-attended.

Five months afterwards, Venter and his fiancée Rozanne Vosloo, were arrested by police from Durban’s Point police station on fraud charges.

They were released on the same day because of insufficient evidence in the docket at that time.

It is claimed Venter faked his own death in order to avoid facing the criminal and civil consequences of the R4,5 million shortage in his trust account. It is further alleged that while in hiding, Venter had tried to claim on a R25 million insurance policy he had with Liberty Life.

According to court papers in the striking off application, Venter was admitted as an attorney, notary and conveyancer in 2015 and opened his practice in Vryheid shortly afterwards.

The KwaZulu-Natal Law Society’s acting director, Nadira Harripersad, said in an affidavit the society began probing Venter after receiving a complaint from property seller Matthys Beyers, who said Venter failed to pay him R3 million which was the proceeds of the registration of the transfer of a property.

The society launched an investigation into Venter’s trust account and books and a report was compiled.

The investigation found there was a shortfall in the trust account totalling more than R4,5 million, that Venter was personally making the transfers out of the bank account and that he knew there were insufficient funds in the account.

The report stated Venter had said that he has a farming business and believed that he should be able to pay back the shortfall. Harripersad said it was apparent from the report that Venter was dealing with his trust money in an “extremely reckless manner”.

A second investigation was then conducted. It found more evidence of “gross misconduct” in relation to the account. It also became evident that Venter is a flight risk as he has family and investments in Australia, said Harripersad.

Approached for comment on Monday, KZN Hawks spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo said that Venter was still being investigated and has not been arrested. He did not know his current whereabouts.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  fraud

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