Arrest warrant for R11m Ponzi schemeComment on this story
Cape Town - A warrant was authorised on Thursday for the arrest of a man allegedly involved in a Ponzi-type investment scheme involving more than R11 million.
Frederick Johannes Greyling, also known as Frik Strauss, failed for the second time on Thursday to appear in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, before magistrate Sabrina
The magistrate said a warrant for his arrest, authorised the first time he failed to appear, was stayed until Thursday on the strength of a medical certificate handed to the court.
In Thursday's proceedings, Greyling's lawyer handed to the court a report stating merely that Greyling was being treated for a psychiatric condition.
Prosecutor Juan Agulhas said the report did not indicate the nature of the illness, or indicate when Greyling would attend the proceedings.
He agreed, reluctantly, to a defence suggestion that the arrest warrant be stayed until July 25, but insisted that this be the final postponement.
The magistrate said the fact that the psychiatric report was so vague gave the State the right to request that Greyling be sent to a psychiatric hospital for observation.
Agulhas said he would not make such a request at this stage, but would do so if Greyling again failed to appear on July 25.
If that happened, he would object to any further postponement, he said.
If Greyling again failed to appear, the State would demand oral testimony as to his condition, Agulhas said.
According to the charge sheet, Greyling registered a company, A Million Up Financing (Pty) Ltd, based in George on the Cape southern coast.
Greyling's former wife, Dr Susanna E Strauss, was the sole director of the company.
It is alleged that, in the name of the company, Greyling devised a Ponzi scheme that offered unsuspecting investors unrealistic returns for their investments.
Agulhas alleges that the returns were paid to investors from their own investments, or from the investments of other investors.
He said the scheme differed from a pyramid scheme, in that the scheme was not dependent on the recruitment of other investors.
Agulhas alleges that Greyling offered investors interest at more than 10 percent per month, or at a rate far in excess of prevailing market rates.
According to the charge sheet, some alleged victims made multiple deposits, in order to increase their aggregates.
Agulhas alleges that Greyling kept the money for his own personal use, and failed to invest the deposits in cattle or other business ventures, as indicated to the victims.
Greyling now faces 18 counts of fraud involving R11 345 955, 18 charges framed under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, 19 charges of failure to inform investors that he was insolvent, one violation of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, and one violation of the Banks Act.