Cape Town couple sentenced for running R278m Ponzi scheme

2017-09-22 10:15
The Hawks head offices. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

The Hawks head offices. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld)

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Cape Town – A Cape Town couple behind a R278m Ponzi scheme has been sentenced for fraud and contravening the Banks Act, the Hawks said on Friday.

Graeme Minnes, 54, was sentenced to 15 years effective imprisonment while his wife Carolina, 52, was sentenced to three years under house arrest, said Captain Lloyd Ramovha.

They were sentenced on Thursday at the Thembalethu Regional Court following intense investigations since their arrest in 2009, Ramovha said.

The couple had duped unsuspecting victims between September 2002 and November 2009 into investing funds from a minimum of R100 000, with promises of higher than usual returns on forex trading, he said.

"The victims were promised profits of up to 65% on an annual basis," he said.

Ramovha said about R278m was amassed from almost 934 clients in the said period and the couple reportedly did limited trading, less than R5m, at a net loss.

"In typical pyramid scheme fashion, they resorted to paying initial investors using new investors' funds," he said.

Western Cape acting provincial Hawks head Brigadier Neil Oliver said the couple's sentencing should be a lesson to people running bogus schemes.

"The public is henceforth warned to stay away from investment schemes that promise high and unrealistic returns," he said.

Read more on:    hawks  |  cape town  |  fraud  |  crime

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