‘Ponzi scheme boss’ arrested
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The boss of what the State says was a Ponzi scheme, used to fund the man’s lavish lifestyle, was arrested at his Hillcrest home on Tuesday and charged with more than 4 000 counts of fraud.
Goodman Goqo, 26, was arrested by officers of the Commercial Crime Unit and appeared in the Durban Commercial Crime Court, where he was remanded.
According to the charge sheet, Goqo was the director of Ingede Mineral Holdings, a private company that undertook to manage investments. Goqo allegedly told investors in written agreements that their money would be invested on the stock market.
The investors were promised a return of 30 percent on their investments over a six-month period and their capital was guaranteed.
However, the company operated as a bank, accepting deposits when it did not have the authority to do so, and did not invest the money on the stock market.
The charge sheet says the money was deposited in Ingede Mineral Holdings’ bank account and was then transferred to Goqo’s personal account.
“The accused utilised the funds as his own and used it for his own purposes. He did not invest it in the stock exchange.
Some of the funds were paid to certain investors to continue the misrepresentation that the funds were being invested and making returns,” the sheet reads.
Goqo’s alleged scheme was uncovered last year and the company shut down by the Reserve Bank, which said it had been acting as a pyramid scheme.
The bank appointed attorney Johan Kruger to take control of Ingede and recover funds for its more than 3 000 investors.
Kruger, assisted by forensic auditor Eckhard Volker, raided Goqo’s home in Plantations, Hillcrest, in June last year and seized assets including expensive clothing and shoes.
Cars worth more than R2-million were also seized.
The goods were to be auctioned off, but Goqo obtained an interim interdict opposing the sale, saying the assets belonged to him and not his company.
However, Durban High Court Judge Trevor Gorven dismissed the interdict in November, and the goods are expected to go up for sale soon.
Goqo has been charged with 4 116 counts of fraud and several of contravening the Banks Act, the Financial Institution (Protection of Funds) Act and the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.
These include operating a financial services provider without the required licence.
Yesterday, Goqo appeared relaxed as he stood in the dock in court, casually dressed in track pants and jacket.
Prosecutor Joanne de Beer asked for the case to be adjourned to later this week for a formal bail application.
Goqo was remanded to the Cato Manor police cells. - The Mercury