A chartered accountant is facing charges including fraud and theft after he allegedly swindled the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) fund of more than R800,000. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
A chartered accountant is facing charges including fraud and theft after he allegedly swindled the Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) fund of more than R800,000. File picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Chartered accountant allegedly stole more than R880K of Covid-19 UIF Ters funds

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Jul 22, 2021

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Pretoria – Chartered accountant Mark Jonathan Vorster was released on R10 000 bail by the East London magistrate’s court on Wednesday after being arrested for alleged fraud, theft and money laundering.

Vorster, aged 43, allegedly made fraudulent Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) claims for his company and five others to receive Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) money when the firms were in fact fully operational, Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said on Thursday.

“He received more than R884 000 cash from the scheme and the owners of other companies were not aware of the claim. Such discrepancies were discovered by the bank official who also managed to recover half of the money from the accused's bank account,” Mogale said.

“A warrant for his arrest was issued and well executed by the team. A laptop and a cellphone were seized from the accused as part of an ongoing investigation.”

The case was postponed to 29 July at the Pretoria specialised commercial crime court.

Earlier this month, the long arm of the law caught up with a woman who stole more than R700 000 in Ters money meant to benefit employees who found themselves without work due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boitumelo Mashele was found guilty by the specialised crimes court and given a three-year suspended sentence. In addition, the court ordered her to repay R215 000 to the UIF after disposing of her house.

The balance of over R 520 000 will be recovered from a preservation order obtained by the Asset Forfeiture Unit last year, the UIF said in a statement.

African News Agency (ANA)

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