Four arrested for massive fraud scheme involving R11.5m

Four people have been arrested in Mpumalanga for alleged fraud involving R11.5m.
Four people have been arrested in Mpumalanga for alleged fraud involving R11.5m.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Four people were arrested for allegedly "unduly benefiting" to the tune of R11.5m in a massive Mpumalanga fraud case.

Lucy Andrea du Preez, 50, John Avent, 53, Piet Albertus Meintjies, 36, and Maria Antoinette le Roux, 49, were arrested on Thursday and appeared in court on Friday.

They face charges of fraud and theft, the Hawks said in a statement.

The investigation centres on 46-year-old Carol Ann Avent, a bookkeeper at a Nelspruit-based company. Carol Avent, who was arrested and charged on 1,150 counts of fraud in 2016, was involved in "fictitious transactions" between 2010 and 2016.

Her family members - the four who were arrested this week - allegedly "unduly benefited by R11.5m", said police spokesperson Capt Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.

Carol Avent was released on R5,000 bail.

"She allegedly diverted the stolen funds to her family members' bank accounts. Avent is yet to be sentenced after she was found guilty as charged in December 2018," said Sekgotodi.

She said that the four arrested this week were granted R3,000 bail each in the Nelspruit magistrate's court.

Carol Avent is expected to appear at the Nelspruit regional court on November 5 2019, where she will be joined by her four co-accused.


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