A man who stole millions from unsuspecting investors over a period of 13 years was on Friday sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of 71 counts of theft.
The sentence was meted out by the Pretoria specialised commercial crimes court after Stephanus Johannes van Eeden, 62, pleaded guilty.
“Van Eeden committed these offences over a period of 13 years, from 2008 to 2021 by using the same method of stealing from his victims,” National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said.
She said Van Eeden operated different investment schemes and persuaded people to invest in them as though they were legitimate businesses.
“Two of his investment schemes where he stole over R8m from 36 complainants were bitcoin and Med Consult Group (MCG).”
Van Eeden was arrested and released on bail in October 2017 after one of the complainants opened a case at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria.
After his release on bail, a number of dockets were opened for similar offences all over the country and he was rearrested in January this year. He had been in custody since.