Pair inflated the value of vehicles by almost R43 million when applying for finance at Absa Bank in Kimberley.
TWO BUSINESS people who previously operated a car dealership in Jacobsdal have been sentenced in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court, after they inflated the value of vehicles by almost R43 million when applying for finance at Absa Bank in Kimberley.
Elizabeth Christina Knouwds, 40, and Willem Johannes van Tonder, 35, were sentenced to 10 years’ direct imprisonment by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court last week for fraud, corruption, money laundering and involvement in criminal gang activities.
Warrant Officer Lynda Steyn from the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (the Hawks) said Knouwds and Van Tonder operated a second-hand vehicle dealership, namely “Lulu’s Auto CC”, in Jacobsdal between May 2008 to October 2009.
“The accused persons colluded and submitted several vehicle finance applications with fraudulent documents to Absa bank in Kimberley. They then inflated the value of the vehicles to a total of almost R43 million.”
Steyn added that after the money was paid out by the bank, they then pocketed the difference from the inflated value.
“The Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation arrested the pair along with fellow suspected syndicate members, Theresa Madeleine Elaine Meyer, 49, and Charl Nico Fredericks, 40, who were served with subpoenas to appear in court also on fraud charges in contravention of Prevention Organised Crime Act (POCA). Theresa Madeleine Elaine Meyer has since passed on and charges against Fredericks were later dropped.”
Knouwds and Van Tonder were found guilty and were each sentenced to 10 years for fraud, four years for money laundering and four years for involvement in criminal gang activities. The sentences have been ordered to run concurrently, meaning they each receive an effective 10 years’ imprisonment.