A Cape Town couple behind a R278m Ponzi scheme has been convicted for fraud, the Hawks said on Monday.
Graeme Minne, 54, and his wife Carolina Frederika Minne, 52, are expected to be sentenced on September 21 after they were convicted at the Thembalethu Regional Court last Tuesday for fraud related to running the multi-million scheme.
Captain Lloyd Ramovha said the couple duped unsuspecting victims into investing funds ranging from a minimum of R100 000, with promises of higher than usual returns on Forex trading between September 2002 and November 2009.
“The victims were promised profits of up to 65% on annual basis,” said Ramovha.
About R278m was amassed from almost 934 clients in the said period and the couple reportedly did limited trading (less than R5m) at a net loss and then in a typical pyramid scheme fashion, they resorted to paying initial investors using new investors’ funds, he said.
“The Hawks’ serious commercial crime unit’s relentless investigations put a stop to the duo’s lavish lifestyle and arrested them in 2009 culminating in this conviction. The two have been convicted for fraud and contravening section 11 read with sections 1 and 91(4) of the Banks Act, no. 94 of 1990,” he said.
Western Cape provincial Hawks head Major General Nombuso Khoza commended the members for securing the conviction.
“The public is hereby reminded to avoid putting their hard earned money at risk by investing with illegitimate investments schemes,” she said.
The sentencing proceedings are set to commence on September 21, he said.
They remain out on R50 000 bail each
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