Company director arrested for alleged Covid-19 TERS fraud

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A company director has been arrested after allegedly claiming TERS funds from the Department of Labour on behalf of his employees and using the money claimed to service his payroll. 

Andre Rudolph Appelgryn, 64, was arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team based in Cape Town earlier on Friday.

According to the Hawks, Appelgryn claimed money from the Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) fund from the labour department between May and June 2020.

This was on behalf of 44 staff working for him prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and he allegedly used the claimed money to service his payroll. 

READ | Company director, acting municipal manager charged with tender fraud at the Mafube Local Municipality

Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani said that this resulted in a joint investigation between UIF and the police after they realised that the TERS monies were claimed unlawfully as the workers were working through lockdown and receiving their full salaries. 

"They were not eligible for the TERS imbursement," Hani added.

On Thursday, the Hawks conducted a search and seizure at Appelgryn's candles company offices in Bredasdorp and confiscated documentation regarding TERS funds.

He appeared in the Bredasdorp Magistrate's Court on charges of fraud.

Appelgryn was granted R5 000 bail. 

The case was remanded to Thursday, 25 October 2021 for further investigation.

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