Cape Town - Former estate agent Mariette Lourens will be spending five years behind bars after she was sentenced to eight years imprisonment with three years suspended, for forgery, fraud and contraventions of the Estate Agency Act.
Lourens, 58, was sentenced in the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday.
She was charged with three counts of forgery, two counts of fraud and another two counts under the Contravention of the Estate Agency Act.
State advocate Jannie Knipe said Lourens had forged financial documents to obtain a R2.4 million loan. She had also defrauded financial institutions by submitting those forged documents.
“Lourens, although she is an estate agent, the fraud and forgery were not conducted in that capacity.
“She also defrauded various customers of R1m by not paying over trust funds received and/or held on their behalf and failed to open a separate trust account for the deposit trust funds received on behalf of third parties.”
The fraud and forgery charges were taken together as one.
Although sentenced to eight years she would serve five years in prison.
The court took into account her age, that she was a first offender and that she suffered from various ailments.
“The State asked for a ten-year sentence with half of it being a suspended sentence. We are satisfied with the five years direct imprisonment.
“It adequately addresses the seriousness of the offences and will serve as a deterrent to those who would be transgressors in respect of fraudulent asset finance application, even though no actual loss had been incurred and the accused is a first offender.”