Cape Town-140124. Convicted fraudster,Linda Addison-Adams, outside the Wynberg Magistrates Court today due for sentencing later today.reporter: Natasha Bezuidenhout. pic: Jason Boud

Cape Town -

A Cape Town woman convicted of defrauding the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and several clients, including mayor Patricia de Lille, says she is grateful the court has shown her mercy by not sending her to jail.

On Friday, the Wynberg Regional Court handed down a suspended sentence to tax consultant Linda Addison-Adams. In June, the 54-year-old was found guilty of 72 counts of fraud, 13 counts of theft and eight counts of failing to submit income tax returns.

Magistrate Jackie Redelinghuys said the court would show mercy. Redelinghuys said the crimes committed by Adams were planned by an intelligent businesswoman over a period of several years.

He added that most South Africans were sick and tired of the fact that crime was not only prevalent, but that crimes of dishonesty were on the increase.

Redelinghuys said Adams would not be getting away scot-free because she had already lost everything, including her home and marriage.

During the lengthy trial, Adams was diagnosed with breast cancer and received chemotherapy. She has since recovered and is in remission.

“She lost everything. If she did not commit these crimes she would have been able to have a wealthy retirement. But she will die a pauper,” Redelinghuys said.

“The court finds that the accused has paid a lot for her crimes.”

Adams sat wiping away tears as the court read out her sentence.

For fraud and theft she was sentenced to seven years in jail, suspended for five years, and strict conditions to adhere to correctional supervision. She also received six months in jail, suspended for five, for failing to submit tax returns.

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Cape Argus