On Friday 12th November, Mr. Gerrit Abraham Coetzee, a key individual and partner at Vryburg Finansiele Dienste CC, was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to 58 counts of fraud and 58 counts of money laundering. South African regulator, Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) accused him of concealing the nature, source, location and movement of more than R12 million, knowing that the funds were criminal proceeds.
The FSCA worked with various other regulators to investigate Mr. Coetzee’s case. They discovered that he had encouraged members of the public to deposit money into his personal trading accounts with PSG Wealth Securities Ltd and SBG Securities (Pty) Ltd and into his personal investment account with Stanlib Money Market Fund. According to Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso, the accused ‘allegedly convinced people to take life policies and retirement annuities of varying amounts’, but he ‘kept the money for his personal use’. FCSA considers this a very serious offence and has delivered a proportionate punishment of ten years imprisonment, with three years suspended on condition that he pay back R20 0000 for a period of six years. The banks who reported the suspicious activities managed to curb the continuation of this criminal activity and prevented the financial system from being exploited further by Mr. Coetzee. Other financial institutions should ensure they are taking the same measures to protect the financial system and themselves. References.