North West - A North West couple appeared in the Rustenburg Circuit Court after they failed to comply with a restraint order against their assets, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Friday.

NPA regional spokesman Phaladi Shuping said Marthie and Andries Mulder appeared in court on Thursday after the North West High Court granted the restraint order on September 23, 2011.

“The purpose of the restraint order was to freeze the assets of the couple until their criminal trial was finalised,” he said in a statement.

“It was found that Marthie Mulder had (allegedly) defrauded Van Velden and Duffey Attorneys... She allegedly transferred the firm's money into her and her husband's bank accounts....The payments amounted to more than R5 million.”

She was employed as a secretary in charge of administration of files for the Van Velden and Duffey Attorneys' road accident claims department.

Shuping said she allegedly pretended that the payments were for medical doctors and service providers in personal injury or third party claims.

The high court appointed Shawn Williams of KPMG as the curator and he was responsible for securing the couple's assets.

The curator removed assets including two cars and a boat and left the couple with one car and household furniture. They did not have property on their name.

“The total value of the removed assets was R765 000,” Shuping added.

In November, Williams learned that the Mulders moved and a comprehensive assets verification check was conducted at their new residence and was found they sold assets that were attached to pay rent owed in July.

“In terms of the restraint order, the Mulders had a duty to submit a monthly income and expenditure affidavit to the curator which they ceased doing from January 2012,” Shuping said.

Part of the court's order was that the Mulders were obliged to inform the curator if there was a threat to attach any frozen assets, he added.

“The Mulders failed to contact the curator to inform him of the attachment which resulted in a financial loss of R100 000. The curator also learned that Andries Mulder sold or pawned a dinner set and several paintings on November 29 at Cash Converters in Rustenburg.”

Shuping said this should serve as a warning to people whose assets were frozen that “drastic action” would be taken if they “disobey the court orders freezing their assets”.

The Mulders are expected to apply for bail on January 21. - Sapa