Police have nabbed a Gauteng finance executive, who allegedly drained more than R3.7-million from the company she worked for before going on the run with her son, after she was spotted in Port Elizabeth four months ago.
Lynda Bedier, 56, who has a previous fraud conviction in Port Elizabeth, and her son, Jayson, aged about 22, have been in hiding since packing up their home in Johannesburg, taking only the essentials and fleeing to the coast.
Detectives confirmed Bedier and Jayson were spotted after booking into a Summerstrand guesthouse. The two, however, managed to evade arrest.
IRS forensic investigations senior investigator Andre van Wyk said yesterday the pair were apprehended at a mall in Edenvale after a tip-off.
“The preliminary information we have suggests that they only returned to Gauteng on Saturday and that they had been hiding out somewhere in the Eastern and Western Cape,” he said.
“We are still trying to determine where exactly they were when they went on the run. “What we do know is that shortly after they realised we were closing in on them in Port Elizabeth, they sold their car for about R35 000.
“The book value for the car is about R80 000.” Van Wyk said the pair had returned to Gauteng late on Saturday night.
“We received a tip-off that they would be at the Wimpy [restaurant] at a mall in Edenvale. “We set up an operation and monitored them before moving into the centre with police and arresting them.”
Bedier allegedly stole R3.7-million since the middle of last year from the equipment supply company where she worked as financial manager. Of the amount, R1.6-million was stolen in just 10 minutes on June 3 this year. Authorities have since managed to freeze R1.38-million left in her bank account.
Bedier and her son were initially spotted in a Port Elizabeth restaurant on June 11 by a man who photographed them and confirmed their identity with investigators. They were also captured on CCTV at a guesthouse. The theft in Gauteng was picked up when Bedier absconded from work for days and unusual payments were picked up on the company’s bank accounts.
Van Wyk confirmed Bedier had previously been convicted of fraud in Port Elizabeth in 2001. Bedier and Jayson are due to appear in the Germiston Magistrate’s Court today.
Asked if Jayson would also face fraud charges, Van Wyk said the decision lay with the courts and the state prosecutor. Additional charges could be added for the alleged theft of company property.