Ex-Sanlam adviser in dock for fraud, forgery

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Cape Town - A former Sanlam insurance adviser appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday for allegedly conning clients in Ceres out of almost R1 million in investment funds, the Hawks said.

Francois Labuschagne, 49, made a brief appearance on charges of fraud, forgery, and contravention of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha said.

Between 2005 and 2010 he allegedly advised elderly clients to withdraw lump sums from an ostensibly underperforming portfolio to what he claimed was a better one.

“He would allegedly then take this cash under the pretext that he was going to deposit it into Sanlam’s business account, but instead used the money for his personal gain. Internal forensic investigations led to his dismissal in 2010, and he had been on the run since,” Ramovha said.

Labuschagne was tracked to Louis Trichardt and arrested on January 15. He appeared in the local magistrate’s court there and the case was transferred to Bellville.

Ramovha said the matter was postponed to February 23 for docket disclosure purposes. 

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