A Brits lawyer has narrowly missed a prison sentence for stealing R4-million worth of trust funds. File Picture: Pixabay
A Brits lawyer has narrowly missed a prison sentence for stealing R4-million worth of trust funds. File Picture: Pixabay

Thieving lawyer narrowly avoids prison and is ordered to repay R4m he stole

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Dec 9, 2020

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Johannesburg – A Brits lawyer narrowly missed a prison sentence for stealing R4 million worth of trust funds.

Instead, Isak Snyman’s 10-year sentence was suspended for five years on condition he repay the funds in R50 000 monthly instalments until the balance is paid in full.

The Hawks’ Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said a Brits couple hired Snyman in 2010 to purchase and register properties on their behalf.

“Approximately R4 million was deposited into his trust account thereafter. Instead of purchasing the properties, the accused misappropriated the funds.”

It’s not known what Synman did with the money, but when he failed to deliver the properties, the couple opened a case against him.

Rikhotso said the matter was then was reported to the Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation.

“Thorough investigations were conducted resulting in the accused being summoned to court,.

“He pleaded guilty guilty to theft and was on Tuesday sentenced at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria.”

In August, Johannesburg Central Police arrested a 30-year-old man alleged to have masqueraded as an estate lawyer and then defrauded two widows of R1.3 million.

Captain Xoli Mbele of Johannesburg Central said at the time the matter came to their attention when a 70-year-old opened a case of fraud against the man.

He said allegations were that the pensioner’s husband died in 2018 and she approached him for help in winding down his estate.

According to Mbele, the man is not a qualified lawyer but has a “beautiful office” in the Joburg CBD where he runs Amasubas Estate Administrators.

The man is alleged to have and requested all documents of the woman’s late husband’s policies and bank balances to transfer them to an estate account.

However, Mbele said, the man went awol for two years, was never in the office and never answered her calls.

“On June 17, 2020, she went to the bank and she was given a printout that showed that R700 000 was deposited into her late husband’s estate account.

“The suspect withdrew the money using internet transfer.”

He also said the same suspect was linked to another case where another female victim of Diepkloof was defrauded of R600 000 of her late husband’s estate money.


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