The Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that close to R103 million of “stolen” funds to be forfeited to the state. Fugitives, Ronald and Darren Bobroff appealed against a North Gauteng High Court order which granted the Asset Forfeiture Unit more than R103 million in 2019. The former attorney’s specialised in personal injury claims.

It is alleged the money was stolen from Road Accident Fund (RAF) victims.

IN 2019 HIGH COURT ORDERED MONEY BE FORFEITED

In August 2019, the forfeiture unit in cooperation between South African and Israeli authorities, ordered the money be paid into the Criminal Assets Recovery Account of the state.

The order was granted in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) which provides that property used to commit a crime can be forfeited to the state.

NPA National Spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said the appeal was based on two issues.

“Firstly, whether or not the high court in Pretoria had jurisdiction (authority) to make a forfeiture order in terms of the POCA in respect of assets situated outside South Africa which belonged to people residing in Australia.

“Secondly, whether the National Director of Public Prosecutions had established that the money forfeited was ‘proceeds of unlawful activities’ as defined in the POCA.”

He added that the appeal was dismissed on both counts but the affected amount was amended.

BOBROFF DUO FLED THE COUNTRY TO AUSTRALIA

The money was held in two bank accounts in Israel, in the names of Ronald and Darren Bobroff who fled from South Africa to Australia in March 2016. Father and son made a run for it after irregularities were uncovered at their firm.

The Bobroffs’ modus operandi was to convince clients to enter into agreements that was actually null and void and to use that money to commit fraud, theft and tax evasion.

In addition to that, the Bobroffs invested a substantial amount of RBP’s monies in an investment account.

Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv Ouma Rabaji-Rasethaba, said there’s no hiding place for criminal acts.

“We shall embark on mutual legal assistance (MLA) to bring back the money. Further, attorneys who defraud the most vulnerable will not get away with it. They must not think that they can steal and hide abroad.”

READ: RAF lawyer arrested for fraud, with road accident victim left in the lurch

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Presh JM Reporter

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