Drama as sheriff comes knocking at Bobroff home

2017-01-20 07:47
High court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

High court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Emotions ran high when the sheriff of the Gauteng South High Court in Johannesburg visited the home of fugitive lawyer Ronald Bobroff on Thursday, with his 70-year-old wife telling officials to take all her furniture but to leave her a chair to sit on.

Personal injury attorney Bobroff and his son, also a personal injury attorney named Darren, were struck off the roll of attorneys in December and are believed to be living in Australia after skipping the country.

They are accused of overcharging victims for claims against the Road Accident Fund.

Claimants lodged a litany of complaints against the Bobroffs, alleging that they charged a contingency fee of 40% of RAF payouts, exceeding the cap of 25%.

Due to face fraud and money-laundering charges involving hundreds of millions of rands, the two fled before being questioned by the Hawks.

Anthony Millar, representing 13 of the claimants, said he was called to the Bobroff house on Thursday afternoon where the sheriff was executing warrants to attach assets.

Goods allegedly moved

The official "ran into trouble" when Bobroff's wife Elaine, 70, and her daughter Lisa refused to allow him onto the property, he said.

"It was not very pleasant," said Millar.

The family's attorney eventually managed to calm them down over the phone.

The sheriff had also been to their Victory Park property on December 5, where only R30 000 worth of assets were found.

It is suspected that the rest of the household goods had been moved to other properties for storage to avoid it being attached, Millar said.

"We had received information that since that visit, caravans and vehicles have been brought back. Before the sheriff was denied access, a caravan was seen on the property."

He was unable to confirm what was attached on Thursday and said he was still waiting for a list of inventory from the sheriff.

"They are behaving in an obstructive way while sitting in Australia in a R26m house they bought in June. No attempt has been made to pay out the victims whose money was misappropriated."

'My life has been destroyed'

Millar told News24 that later on Thursday afternoon his office received a threatening phone call from someone warning him to "watch out, someone would be waiting when your wife comes home".

"To have that sort of threat made…has changed things. I intend to lay criminal charges," he said.

Among the claimants are a 78-year-old woman and another who requires the money for medical treatment.

When News24 contacted Elaine Bobroff, she refused to discuss what had unfolded at her home on Thursday, only saying the sheriff "came to take things that belong to me".

She insisted her husband and son are victims of a vendetta.

"They destroyed my family and the business. They were threatened with arrest. They won't stop with their evil vendetta," she argued.

"They had to leave. My life has been destroyed. I am without my husband, child, two grandsons and daughter-in-law."

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