Creditors pursuing multibillionaire Martin Levick's custom gem trove

19 May 2019 - 00:03 By JEFF WICKS

Creditors of multibillionaire business person Martin Levick have turned their attention to a trove of bespoke jewellery valued at more than R3m that was conspicuously absent when his assets were attached in April.
Levick is facing claims of more than R712m against his estate. The former CEO of the Genesis Capital Group is alleged to have operated a complex and murky web of faux investments, defrauding clients across the globe.
He resigned last month, with the firm distancing itself from his alleged malfeasance.
Last month his creditors secured a provisional sequestration order, empowering the sheriff of the court to attach his mansion in Houghton and later his palatial home on Clifton's shoreline, as well as other major assets.
A final sequestration order is expected next month.
His one-of-a-kind R2.5m Aston Martin Vantage V12 S, fitted with customised maroon carbon-fibre finishes, was tracked down to a luxury car dealership in Melrose Arch.
It is understood the car was at the dealership for a service when it was attached by the sheriff.
The Sunday Times can this week reveal that Levick commissioned bespoke jewellery for his wife Leigh, including a platinum ring with an eight-carat diamond worth nearly R2m, 4ct diamond earrings worth R196,000, a 3.25ct unset diamond and a necklace with five floating diamonds worth R725,000.
The Segal family, who run the Morris Segal jewellery business in Johannesburg, claim Levick never settled his R3.25m tab.
In a letter written by the Segals' attorney, Greg Edelstein, to Leigh Levick in March, the family demand the immediate return of the jewellery.
"Our clients have not received any payment at all for the jewellery," the letter reads.
The family, which is seeking Levick's sequestration, also accuses him of "misappropriating" R420m they invested.
Joining them in the court action is London-based business person Antony Ball, who has accused Levick of fleecing R115m from his two companies, Chester Holdings Ltd and Illovo Ltd.
"Levick has stolen funds under false pretences and used those stolen funds to pay another creditor ... Levick will self-evidently devise further unlawful schemes in order to avoid being held to account from his general body of creditors," court papers read.
Saul Shoot of Fluxmans, acting on behalf of the companies, said he was present when Levick's assets were attached by the sheriff.
He said their sequestration application had been successful, and he was bound by the Insolvency Act to "prosecute all the proceedings in the sequestration until a provisional trustee had been appointed".
The jewels, he said, could not be located by the sheriff.
In a letter he sent to Levick's lawyers in the days after the initial attachment, he called for the urgent delivery of the jewellery to the sheriff.
Apart from the cash, the entities alleged that Levick stole $3.5m (about R50m) in an art deal last year that turned out to be fraudulent.
Levick allegedly spun a yarn that the artwork, Grannies, was by British street artist Banksy and was destined for the Guggenheim Museum. The deal never materialised.
Another creditor who joined the court pursuit of Levick is Johannesburg business person Christopher Brand, who says R244m he invested with Levick has not been repaid.
"In essence it arose from Levick handling my local and offshore investments and misappropriating my monies in offshore trusts and misrepresenting the extent of investments he made on my behalf," he said in his court papers.
Irish firm AMB Capital is after the 49-year-old for €2m (about R32m) it invested in a share deal.
With his movable assets now going nowhere, Levick's final sequestration hearing is due to be heard in the high court in Johannesburg on June 4.
Levick referred questions to his attorney, Devin Moodley, who said: "My client cate-gorically denies the allegations against him relating to impropriety and will refute [them] in due course and in the appropriate forum."
Leigh Levick read messages sent by the Sunday Times detailing the allegations about the jewellery, but did not respond.
A trustee appointed to oversee Levick's estate as part of the sequestration process, Dawie van der Merwe, declined to comment, beyond saying an investigation was in progress.
Edelstein said the matter was sub judice and would not comment further.

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