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Eastern Cape attorney accused of fraud after losing case released on warning

Picture: Pexels

Picture: Pexels

Published Jul 7, 2021

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Cape Town - An Eastern Cape attorney has been released on a warning after appearing in the new law court in Gqeberha on allegations of fraud, says the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks).

Chantal Arlene du Plessis, 46, faces charges involving over R158 000 in civil claim costs, Hawks provincial spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said in a statement.

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Du Plessis was allegedly representing a client when she lost the case, resulting in the client paying R150 000 as per the court order into Du Plessis’ trust account on March 12, 2018. Du Plessis, however, did not pay the costs as per the order, but instead allegedly redirected the money for personal use.

The opposing attorneys reportedly secured a default judgment against du Plessis’s client for failure to comply with the court order, with the client’s assets set to be attached to defray costs.

“Du Plessis then used another client’s money in order to stop the execution on the existing attachment order,” Mgolodela said.

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She said a complaint was then made to the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation team in Gqeberha, leading to a probe and Du Plessis’ arrest. The court then released her on warning with conditions, while the matter was postponed to August 2.

In a separate incident, the Hawks’ Queenstown serious organised crime investigation unit was involved in the arrest of a 21-year-old man on suspicion of copper cable theft and damage to infrastructure on Monday morning, Mgolodela said.

Cala police were conducting routine patrols when they noticed a suspicious bakkie loaded with copper cables, whose driver sped off when he saw the officers. The driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into another one, before fleeing on foot.

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He was subsequently identified by another motorist and an investigation linked the suspect to the bakkie and a scrapyard where stolen cables were often sold.

According to Mgolodela, the company responsible for erecting power poles for network signals around the Cala area, Sentech, identified the recovered cables and the value of the damage to infrastructure and stolen cables was estimated at more than R2.5 million.

The suspect will appear soon in the Cala Magistrate’s Court.

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African News Agency (ANA)

Related Topics:

Crime and courts

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