Bobroffs' Israeli accounts frozen‚ says NPA
The Asset Forfeiture Unit has frozen more than R100-million in bank accounts held in Israel by fugitive attorneys Ronald Bobroff and his son Darren‚ the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Friday.
The money was initially frozen by the Israeli authorities after they became suspicious of transactions being conducted in the Bobroffs accounts.
The Bobroffs fled to Australia in March last year‚ a day before they were supposed to appear before the high court in Pretoria on fraud and money laundering charges relating to suspected infringements in their handling of Road Accident Fund (RAF) claims.
The Bobroffs stand accused of having fleeced RAF claimants by overinflating their legal fees.
The NPA said: “On 28 July 2017‚ the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the NPA obtained an order in the North Gauteng High Court‚ freezing a cash amount of about R101-million‚ which is held in two bank accounts in Israel.” The prosecuting authority said the bank accounts are held in the father and son’s names. The Bobroffs face “serious charges of overcharging clients and related fraudulent actions”.
The NPA added: “The Bobroffs modus operandi was to convince clients to enter into … agreements. The clients were unaware that these agreements were‚ in actual fact‚ null and void and that it was used as a tool by the Bobroffs to commit alleged fraud‚ theft and tax evasion.
“In addition‚ the Bobroffs invested a substantial amount of RBP’s [Ronald Bobroff and Partners] monies in an investment account.
“The account was‚ however‚ not reflected as a trust creditor account in RBP’s trust accounting records. The money in the investment account provided the Bobroffs with an opportunity to avoid the taxation of the interest earned on the monies invested as well as with an opportunity to launder funds without being detected‚” said the NPA. The money is currently being kept safe in Israel until the finalisation of forfeiture proceedings.