Insurance broker convicted of defrauding 10 medical doctors in Cape Town

Former Old Mutual financial broker Francois Hendrik du Plessis was convicted on Tuesday of defrauding 10 medical doctors in Cape Town.

Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court magistrate Amrith Chabilall pronounced him guilty on 41 counts of theft, 35 of fraud, six of money-laundering and one of forgery.

With Du Plessis in the dock was co-accused Elmarie von Willigh, a former director of the company Capital Commitments. She had possession and control of all of Du Plessis’ files pertaining to Old Mutual insurance policies and investments in shares.

Von Willigh was found guilty on 41 counts of theft, 22 of fraud, six of money-laundering and one involving the uttering (presentation) of a forged document.

They are to be sentenced on Wednesday. Both had been out on bail.

Chabilall told them: “As of this moment, neither of you are on bail any longer Ä you are now back in custody, and will be brought back to this court tomorrow.”

One of the medical practitioners who fell victim to the embezzlements is Dr Abdurehmam Kaskar, who was persuaded by Du Plessis to invest R135,000 in shares with the company APMI Holdings. Instead of investing the money in the shares, Du Plessis used it for himself.

On another count, Du Plessis falsely informed Sanlam that Dr Horst Kirsten had authorised him to withdraw R12,024 from an endowment policy, for investment purposes.

On another charge, Du Plessis persuaded Dr Mireille Landman to invest R40,000 in shares with APMI Holdings, but again used the money for himself.

Similarly, Dr Richard Maske was persuaded to invest R100,000 in shares, but the money was used by Du Plessis for his own personal benefit. On another count, Dr Rabia Patel was duped into making a share investment worth R488,902, which never materialised.

Other doctors who also fell victim to the scam were Marthinus Zeeman, Johannes Rossouw, Barny Kahanowitz, Hugh Casserley and Charles Matthews. – Sapa

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