State seeks cash from fake-people insurance scam
A Home Affairs official who registered fictitious people and then “killed” them off to claim life insurance payouts is now set to lose her home and cars after the state was given the go-ahead to recover the stolen cash.
The Port Elizabeth High Court ordered Ntombifikile Luzipho and any other person in possession of her assets to surrender them to the court-appointed curator to be sold off.
Luzipho, 47, who is serving an eight-year jail sentence for fraud, was inventive in the way she disposed of her fabricated people – from having them drown to being victims of hit-and-run accidents.
The single mother has already served nearly two of the eight years.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Dr Nkululeko Ndzengu said the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) had obtained a confiscation order in August 2015, with Luzipho given 14 days to pay up an agreed-upon amount of R79 000.
However, to date – almost two years later – she had still not done so.
Ndzengu said the curator bonis, Mike Timkoe of Timkoe Trustees, would ensure that the property confiscated would yield the highest market-related return in the most cost-effective manner.
An amount of R79 000 needed to be deposited into the Criminal Assets Recovery Account.
Any excess money, after Timkoe had subtracted his fees, would be paid back to Luzipho.
The realisation order, granted on Tuesday, extends to Luzipho’s KwaDwesi family home valued at R430 000, as well as all its furnishings.
A schedule of assets also listed several motor vehicles, including a Hyundai Atos, a Toyota Camry, an Audi and a Ford Ranger.
In addition, Ndzengu said this extended to any property held by any person to whom Luzipho “directly or indirectly made an affected gift”.
In November 2015, the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court found Luzipho guilty of fraud after she colluded with other state officials in 2008 to capture fictitious or late births.
She registered them for life insurance policies and then “killed off” the aliases to claim the payouts.
She was creative in thinking up causes of death which ranged from hit-and-run accidents to drownings.
They went as far as to provide the insurance companies with police reports and mortuary references.
Sanlam, Old Mutual, Liberty Life and Metropolitan Life lost hundreds of thousands of rands in the elaborate scheme, carried out a total of five times.
Timkoe must report back to the court on his progress in 90 days.