Cape Town businessman gets seven years for R16m fraud involving second-hand cars
Cape Town – A Cape Town businessman has been sentenced to an effective seven years behind bars by the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court for money laundering and 28 counts of fraud amounting to R16.8 million.
Ryan Courtney, 33, known for the buying and selling of second-hand vehicles, was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment for the 28 counts of fraud and five years for money laundering.
The court suspended six years of the 13-year sentence for five years with conditions. It then suspended the sentence imposed for money laundering for five years.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Courtney “recruits investors to invest money in buying vehicles and then sells them to dealers for their showrooms”. These vehicles were then sold at a significant profit.
“Many of the 28 complainants he defrauded were people he had done business with before. He gained their trust as they saw returns on their past investments.
’’Over a period of two years, between October 2019 and February 2020, he took money from investors, promised that he had bought vehicles and he even sold the same vehicles to multiple investors.
“He took a vehicle from a seller, promising to sell it at a significant profit, but that seller never saw his money or vehicle. His investors lost R16.8 million.
’’He used the money to pay other investors he owed, for personal benefit and his gambling addiction,” said Ntabazalila.
Prosecutor advocate Juan Agulhas welcomed the sentence and told the court the investors had lost a substantial amount of money because of the accused's dishonesty.
“The exorbitant amount involved in the fraud is extremely aggravating. The nature and gravity of the offences are serious.
’’These type of offences impact severely on the economy of South Africa and the victims of these crimes,” said Agulhas.