Financial crooks warned: Sentencing now hits your wallet

19 November 2020 - 08:16 By TimesLIVE
A novel approach in a fraud case by a North West court on November 12 has been hailed by SA's financial sector authority.
A novel approach in a fraud case by a North West court on November 12 has been hailed by SA's financial sector authority.
Image: 123RF/BELCHONOK

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority has congratulated the government on a new approach to sentencing in fraud cases — hitting culprits in their wallets.  

This arose in the case of a North West man who took money from investors to pay his own living expenses.

Gerrit Abraham Coetzee was recently jailed in the Vryburg regional court for defrauding his financial services clients, said the entity.

His sentence involved 10 years' imprisonment, of which three were suspended, subject to him:

  • Paying an amount of R20,000 for a period of six years towards a fund to compensate his victims;
  • Ceding the total amount of an annuity in his favour (at least R1.2m), payable in 2024, to the compensation fund;
  • Obtaining and maintaining a policy on his life to the value of at least R2m, for the benefit of the victims if he dies.

“This novel approach to sentencing is welcomed by the FSCA and we congratulate the National Prosecuting Authority on the work and speed with which they worked on this case. The FSCA is encouraged by the efforts of the NPA and Commercial Crimes Unit.

“This is part of the new approach to enforcement at the FSCA and the authority will continue to support the NPA and the CCU in their efforts to bring criminals to book.”

Coetzee was a partner at Vryburg Finansiele Dienste CC, a financial services provider. He pleaded guilty to 58 counts of fraud and 58 counts of concealing the nature, source, location and movement of more than R12m.

“The investigation revealed that ... over the period between January 1 2012 — July 31 2018, Mr Coetzee induced members of the public to deposit money into his personal trading accounts with PSG Wealth Securities Ltd and SBG Securities (Pty) Ltd, and into his personal investment account at the Stanlib Money Market Fund,” said the authority.

“The misappropriated funds were used to pay home loans, personal loans, insurance and vehicle financing.”

TimesLIVE


X