Jeffreys Bay businessman released on bail amidst R4.5 million fraud case

The businessman’s spree of fraud involved the transfer of funds earmarked for the development of low-cost housing in the Eastern Cape.

A Jeffery’s Bay businessman has been released on bail after being charged for fraud and theft of some R4.5 million from his company over a three year period.

Stephanus De Wet De Lange must be wondering what “De Hell” he was thinking when he embezzled money from the Cinzaco 180 (Pty) Ltd company, which he is a 50% shareholder in, to his family accounts over several transactions between 2014 and 2017. 

FRAUD CONTINUED OVER THREE YEARS  

De Lange is accused of having moved funds – some of which were intended for the construction of low-costing housing developments in the Eastern Cape – into the De Lange Family trust, which he is a trustee of. 

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that “de Lange” the corruption went on, the worse his indictment became. 

“De Lange, who is a 50% shareholder of the Jeffrey’s Bay based company, is accused of embezzling R4.5 million and faces charges of fraud and two counts of theft,” they said in a statement released on Thursday 20 August.

“From March 2015 to December 2017, Cinzano was involved in the construction of low-cost houses. De Lange is also a trustee of the SDW De Lange Family Trust.”

They said that he transferred funds between his business and family trust having said that he intended to use them to pay creditors and employees of Cinzaco. 

“It is alleged that between 7 March 2014 to 20 December 2017, De Lange unlawfully transferred a total of R3 277 000 from Cinzaco’s bank account to his family’s trust account. He allegedly did so under the pretence that the money would pay the creditors and employees of Cinzaco.”

It is further alleged that on 20 December 2017, De Lange unlawfully and without authority transferred an amount of R870 000 from the bank account of Cinzaco to the bank account of his family trust.

NPA DID NOT OPPOSE BAIL  

The NPA said that his space of embezzlement didn’t just occur over the Christmas period of 2017, but extended to 2018 when he  stole another amount and dropped it in the family kitty. 

“Further, it is alleged that in April 2018 he stole an amount of R423 000 from the bank account of Cinzaco by transferring it to the De Lange family trust,” they said. 

State prosecutor, Advocate Tjaart Van Zyl, did not oppose bail when De Lange was released on R5 000 bail by the Port Elizabeth Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, as the accused “gave his full cooperation during the investigation stage and handed himself over to the Hawks when he was requested to do so”. 

Source: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/

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