The Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court has sentenced 36-year-old Michael Janse van Vuuren to 12 years imprisonment for fraud amounting to more than R6 million.
Colonel Katlego Mogale, spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (also known as the Hawks) said Janse van Vuuren was sentenced on Tuesday.
“It was reported that Janse van Vuuren, during December 2018, presented himself to the complainant as a travel agent and promised to assist in the arrangements of a trip for the complainant's company,” said Mogale.
“Janse van Vuuren promised the clients an all-inclusive package with return flight tickets, accommodation paddock passes to event including access to the Baku Grand Prix in Azerbaijan,” she said.
“Although he received the payments, Janse van Vuuren never made good on his promises but instead used the money for personal benefit.”
Following a series of court appearances, Janse van Vuuren was convicted on November 1 for 49 counts of fraud.
This was after he absconded from his scheduled court appearance on October 12, where a warrant for his arrest was issued.
“The members of the Gauteng-based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation traced him to Buffalo Hotel in Komatipoort where he was arrested by the Komatipoort SAPS,” said Mogale.
After his arrest in Komatipoort, Mpumalanga, Van Vuuren made a brief appearance before the Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court.
He was remanded in custody until his appearance at the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Gauteng on Tuesday.