A Kariega woman found guilty of lying about her expensive diamond ring being stolen and tried to fraudulently claim from her insurance in late 2020, was recently sentenced in the Kariega Magistrate's Court.
Dominique Miles (45) was prosecuted on charges of forgery and uttering, the first successful prosecution relating to an investigation of this nature for the Kariega task team.
According to testimony in court, the accused claimed that she was cleaning her home when she lost her 18ct white gold ring, set with 66 brilliant cut diamonds and 12 marquise cut diamonds in the garbage bags. The bags could not be checked since it was already discarded when she realised that the ring was missing.
Miles then contacted her insurance company, who instructed her to obtain quotations for the loss.
The replacement value of the ring was estimated at R43 000. The insurance company detected loopholes in the claim and contacted the SAPS Uitenhage Commercial Crime Task Team for assistance.
A fraud case was opened on November 3, 2020, and further investigations proved that the document that was handed in was falsified by the accused herself. Thorough investigations led the team to the successful prosecution that was handed down on Thursday, January 20, 2022.
The accused was found guilty and sentenced as follows:
- Forgery: R3 000 or 180 days in prison of which half is suspended for five years on the condition that the accused is not convicted of fraud, theft, forgery or uttering committed during the period of suspension.
- Uttering: a fine of R3 000 or 180 days imprisonment.
It was also established that the accused never lost the ring but was in fact still in possession of the 18ct white gold ring.
SAPS Uitenhage Acting Station Commander, Col. André Swart, has welcomed the sentencing meted out by the court and said: “Hopefully this sentence will send out a strong warning to the community that it doesn’t pay to submit false insurance claims. In the end you will lose more than you gain. A false insurance claim can lead to a jail sentence, substantial fines and a permanent criminal record.”