A let off! SA Ponzi scammers avoid jail – despite R5 million loot

A couple were arrested for numerous crimes associated with an investment scheme worth nearly R5 million. Clive Anthony and Marlene Lewarne were recently released on warning by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks).

Hawks investigated before arresting the Ponzi scammers

Spokesperson for the Hawks in Mpumalanga Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi stated that the duo was arrested for contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act as well as the Consumer Protection Act.

Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team based in Middelburg arrested three people, Clive Anthony Lewarne, Marlene Lewarne and Annelie Smit.

Theft and fraud plans resulted in the investigation

Sekgotodi stated that the two conspired to commit theft and fraud as well as contravening Sec 11 (1) of the Banks Act.

“The Hawks serious commercial crime investigation team based in Middelburg (arrested the two) for contravention of the Riotous Assemblies Act, Act 17/1956 that the accused conspired to commit theft, fraud, contravening Sec 11(1) of the Banks Act,” said Sekgotodi.

“They were also charged for contravening sections of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, and contravening the Consumer Protection Act in that they operated an investment scheme that had a combined value R 4 796 595.”

Ponzi scammers cases combined before the postponement

Sekgotodi explained that the cases put against the Lewarnes were combined. The matter has now been postponed to 20 May. This was done so the accused three’s lawyers could be present in court.

Former manager arrested for R 5 million fraud

In more fraud-related news a 50-year-old former hardware store manager was arrested and charged for defrauding his employer of over R 5 million in less than a year.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Bonnie Nxumalo said the Gqeberha based Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation arrested James Scolto-Douglas aged 50.

Scolto-Douglas was arrested and charged with numerous counts of fraud.

“On Friday, 4 March 2022 for numerous counts of fraud and he appeared at the Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crimes Court where he was released on R5000 bail.” Read the full story here.

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