Former attorney jailed for defrauding deceased estates’ beneficiaries
The Hawks have welcomed the sentencing of a former attorney who defrauded two deceased estates‚ of which he was appointed executor six years ago.
The Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Bellville‚ in the Western Cape‚ on Wednesday sentenced Ignatius Potgieter‚ 51‚ to an effective four years in jail for defrauding the two estates of R720 000.
In January 2012‚ Potgieter was appointed executor of an estate worth more than R580 000 on behalf of two siblings‚ following the death of their father in December 2011.
He was also appointed executor of an estate worth more than R140 000‚ on behalf of a father who lost his son in December 2011.
The investigation by the Hawks revealed that between January and December 2012‚ Potgieter‚ in his capacity as executor of both deceased estates‚ unlawfully defrauded the benefactors thereof.
Potgieter was subsequently struck off the roll of attorneys in March 2016.
He has since reimbursed the complainants a total of R150 000.
The court sentenced Potgieter to seven years imprisonment‚ three of which were suspended for five years. The Hawks’ provincial head in the Western Cape‚ Major-General Nombuso Portia Khoza‚ welcomed the sentence imposed to the former attorney‚ saying she hoped it would serve as a deterrent to other professionals.