The Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday sentenced a 67-year-old accountant, Petrus Serdyn Louw, to 12 years imprisonment. Louw was convicted of 49 counts of fraud, forgery and money laundering.
He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for the 49 counts of fraud with three years suspended for five years on condition that he is not convicted of fraud or theft or an attempt to commit any of the offences during the period of suspension.
Louw was the director of Louw & Cronje Inc, chartered accountants and auditors trading from Porterville in Western Cape.
He advised investors to invest in property developments. As a result, investors and entities invested R60, 6 million to be held in trust on behalf of and to the benefit of the investors and entities.
Louw then forged another bank account to which he transferred the deposited monies. He forged bank statements from the fictitious bank account, provided investors and entities with false bank statements purporting to be held by Louw Redelinghuys & Co with deposits held on behalf of the investors and entities.
Advocate Jannie Knipe, said the offences were serious and impacted severely on the economy and the victims of the crimes.
“Louw abused the position of trust held with the complainants. Some of the complainants were elderly and as a result of the offences lost all their life and pension savings. The detection of the crimes was difficult and resulted in an extensive and laborious investigation,” said Knipe said.
The National Prosecuting Authority ( NPA) welcomed the sentence.