Auctioneer charged with fraud

Vincent Moss Picture: EUGENE COETZEE
Vincent Moss

Accused of pocketing clients’ cash

A popular Port Elizabeth auctioneer’s future will go under the gavel after he was nabbed for alleged fraud yesterday.

After more than a decade as general manager of Aucor South in North End, Vincent Moss found himself stripped of his gavel, broke and on the wrong side of the law.

He is accused of stealing just shy of R1-million in proceeds of sales between November 2013 and March this year. He allegedly sold office furniture, forklifts and vehicles on behalf of clients, but pocketed the cash.

Yesterday, Moss said he had lost his job and required the services of a Legal Aid attorney.

On August 16, the Port Elizabeth High Court granted the Asset Forfeiture Unit a restraint order – in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act – against Moss’s provident fund. Appearing briefly in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court yesterday, Moss was released on bail of R2 000 and ordered to surrender his passport.

Magistrate Louis Claassen postponed the case to October 7 for Moss to apply for a state-funded attorney.

The Port Elizabeth dad had been employed as general manager of Aucor for more than 15 years before to his arrest.

After receiving a mandate, Aucor will sell property on behalf of a seller. The property is then placed on public auction and sold once the seller’s reserve price is met.

The auctioneer then subtracts his commission – usually between 3% and 10% – and pays over the balance to the seller.

Not only did Moss play the role of auctioneer, he was also responsible for procuring assets for auction, and managed the day-to-day operations of Aucor’s Port Elizabeth offices.

He was arrested yesterday after it emerged that he had allegedly pocketed R918 272 in proceeds meant for his clients. Items sold on their behalf included vehicles, office furniture and kitchen appliances.

According to state advocate Lise Keech, once the sales went through, instead of subtracting his commission and paying the remainder to the seller, Moss allegedly pocketed the full amount.

According to the charge sheet, on each occasion Moss instructed the buyers to either pay in cash or to transfer the money into his personal bank account, or an account belonging to his son, Vincent junior.

For instance, in March last year, Moss allegedly stole the R15 000 paid by a buyer for two Toyota forklifts.

Then, later that month, he allegedly pocketed R145 000 made through the sale of sheet metal, office furniture and office equipment he had been mandated to sell by a liquidator

Moss is charged with fraud, alternatively the theft of the property or cash totalling R918 272. He has not yet pleaded to the charges

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