CEO accused of threatening and defrauding shareholders of R50m
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Johannesburg – A 42-year-old chief executive was due to appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court today for allegedly defrauding shareholders of R50 million between March 2019 and May 2021.
The suspect was arrested yesterday and charged with fraud, with more arrests imminent.
’’It is alleged that the CEO, together with another executive official, persuaded the shareholders to buy shares that did not exist from a healthcare company since it was going to list its shares on the Standard Board of the London Stock Exchange.
’’The shareholders were further threatened that if they do not pay a certain amount of cash, they will forfeit their existing shares,’’ the Hawks said in a statement.
It was later discovered that the stipulated bank accounts were allegedly the suspects’ personal accounts. Thirty shareholders lost R50 million due to alleged misrepresentation, the Hawks said.
Last week, a businessman who used false tax invoices in the calculations of VAT output and input tax, which resulted in a loss of R1m for the SA Revenue Service (Sars), was sentenced to five years’ direct imprisonment for fraud.
Sars commissioner Mr Edward Kieswetter noted with concern that the scourge of VAT crime has been on the ascendancy for a long time.
“There are companies that are created for the sole purpose of defrauding Sars. This sentence of direct imprisonment must communicate a clear message that Sars has the capacity to detect fraud and make it costly for the perpetrators.’’