A Cape Town couple behind a multimillion rand Ponzi scheme has been sentenced in the Thembalethu Regional Court for fraud and contravening the Banks Act.
Graeme Minne‚ 54‚ and Carolina Minne‚ 52‚ duped unsuspecting victims between September 2002 and November 2009 into investing funds starting at a minimum of R100‚000‚ with promises of higher than usual returns on forex trading.
The victims were promised profits of up to 65% on annual basis.
About R278-million was amassed from almost 934 clients and the couple reportedly did limited trading (less than R5-million) at a net loss‚ according to Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha.
“In a typical pyramid scheme fashion‚ they resorted to paying initial investors using new investors’ funds‚” he said.
“The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Unit relentless investigations put a stop to the duo lavish life-style and arrested them during 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‚ nr 94 of 1990‚” Ramovha added.
Graeme Minne was sentenced to 15 years’ effective imprisonment‚ while Carolina Minnie was slapped with a 3-year house arrest and correctional supervision in terms of Section 276(1)(h). Both have been declared unfit to own firearms.
Western Cape Acting Provincial Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Brigadier Neil Oliver welcomed the sentence. “This should be a lesson to people running bogus schemes out there‚ that our investigations will ensure that justice is served. The public is henceforth warned to stay away from investment schemes that promises high and unrealistic returns‚” he said.
Source: TMG Digital.