Cops probe Jeffreys Bay estate agency fraud case

Estelle Ellis ellise@avusa.co.za

IN A dramatic day for the Jeffreys Bay estate agent fraternity, the national office of Jawitz Properties forcibly closed the offices of well-known local estate agent Renette Block in an unfolding scandal over missing money.

Block has been an estate agent in Jeffreys Bay for the past 10 years and worked at several of the town’s estate agencies.

The chief executive of Jawitz Properties, Herschel Jawitz, said yesterday the company had instituted urgent legal action against Block and had started an investigation into allegations of the misappropriation of money held in the agency’s trust account.

He said they were alerted to possible problems when their head office started receiving complaints at the end of last year from property owners who were not being paid their rent, which was being paid to the Jeffreys Bay franchise office by tenants.

“When these problems were not being resolved by the franchise owner, we realised there was a problem and launched a full investigation of our own, including appointing auditors to audit the trust account,” Jawitz said.

“The group has taken immediate steps to cancel the franchise agreement and is seeking an urgent court interdict against Block, preventing her from having any access to the business and the business bank accounts.”

He said they had also reported the matter to the Estate Agency Affairs Board.

Police spokesman Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed last night that a case of fraud had been opened with the Jeffreys Bay police.

Despite numerous attempts by The Herald to contact Block, her cellphone remained off.

 

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