Law firm money man on theft charge

Johannesburg - A law firm's financial and office manager accused of stealing trust funds appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Friday in an attempt to have the charges against him withdrawn.

Hendrik Lehmann, 33, of Kraaifontein, in Cape Town, who faces charges of theft and money laundering, made a second appearance before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

File Photo: Clyde Robinson. Credit:

Prosecutor Zama Matayi alleged that Lehmann stole trust funds amounting to R239 599 while he was the financial and office manager of Michael Matthews and Associates between January and June 2011.

His duties included administration of the firm's trust and practice accounts, and the petty cash. He also had to prepare month-end bank reconciliations, and reconcile trust creditors with trust cash books and balances.

The court heard that he allegedly channelled trust money meant for clients into his own bank account.

On Fridays, the prosecutor said written representations for the withdrawal of the charges, submitted by defence attorney Joshua Greeff, had been rejected by the Western Cape head of the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit, advocate Malini Govender.

Greeff said he wished to take the representations to a higher level.

Lehmann was warned to return to court on July 4.