Chartered accountant jailed for 22 years for theft

Jonathan Blow blamed his crimes on his gambling addiction. | Sipho Simelane/ Facebook

Jonathan Blow blamed his crimes on his gambling addiction. | Sipho Simelane/ Facebook

Published Mar 13, 2024


Jonathan Blow, an accountant, was recently sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment for fraud and embezzlement. The Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crime Court, in the Eastern Cape, handed down the sentence on March 7.

The 52-year-old man was convicted in September on two counts of theft, after stealing millions from Despatch Superspar and Sunridge Superstar in Gqeberha.

According to the Hawks, the accountant embezzled the money over two years, from July 2020 to September 2022, after his appointment as the accounting officer for the two entities. For his job, he was given full access and administrative rights to the companies’ trading bank accounts.

An investigation led by the Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit of the Hawks in Gqeberha, revealed that Blow had transferred more than R40 million from Sunridge Superstar and R11 million from Despatch Superspar to his bank account.

Blow was arrested in March last year and has been in custody since then.

He was disbarred from the South African Institute for Chartered Accountants (Saica), a regulatory and licensing body for chartered accountants.

Blow was sentenced to 15 years in prison for each count of theft, but 8 years of the sentence imposed for the first count will be served concurrently with the sentence imposed for the second count, so he will serve 22 years.

In addition, the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit seized R1.8 million from Blow.

Asked whether the two entities would receive compensation, seeing that all of Blow’s assets had been depleted, Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said: “Usually a private business is not compensated unless it’s a state-owned enterprise. The accused’s possessions will be forfeited to compensate the funds stolen from the business, but until further notice, we don’t know whether the two companies will receive and claim for compensation.”

The Star

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