Thursday, March 8, 2012
Accountant survives Pickvest CEO's complaint
Author: Julius Cobbett|09 March 2012 03:17 Accountant survives Pickvest CEO's complaint
Rikus Myburgh fails to get auditing body to act against nemesis Andre Prakke.
JOHANNESBURG - Rikus Myburgh, CEO of controversial syndication promoter Pickvest (formerly PIC Syndications), has failed in his complaint against nemesis Andre Prakke.
Last year Moneyweb reported that Myburgh had laid a complaint against Prakke with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica). See Pickvest CEO lays complaint against Andre Prakke.
Both Myburgh and Prakke are chartered accountants.
Myburgh’s complaint, which can be downloaded here, accused Prakke of causing the loss of income to Pickvest of “hundreds of millions of rands”. Presumably this income would have been earned as profits on the sale of syndicated properties to investors.
Myburgh’s complaint was referred to the regulatory body for auditors, Irba, which takes precedence when a complaint is made against someone who is both a registered accountant and auditor, as Prakke is.
Irba director Jane O’Connor wrote to Myburgh to inform him that Irba’s investigating committee did not believe that his complaint had provided evidence to charge Prakke with bringing the profession into disrepute. O’Connor’s letter can be downloaded here.
O’Connor noted, somewhat ominously for Pickvest auditors, that, on further consideration, the committee had “decided to investigate the auditors in this matter. It is unclear whether O’Connor was referring to Pickvest’s auditors, Calculus, or those of its syndication companies, Van Sitterts.
Auditors of property syndication companies have taken some flak recently for signing off on dubious valuations. See Property Syndicator’s auditor clobbered and Sharemax: Auditor backtracks on opinion.
Myburgh declined to comment on Irba’s finding. He would only say: “I prefer to wait for the outcome of the other case against Prakke currently being investigated by Irba.”
Prakke says he is not aware of any other complaint pending against him.
Prakke tells Moneyweb that he is considering suing Myburgh for defamation. He is also considering laying counter complaints against both Myburgh and Pickvest attorney Eugene Kruger.
“Money has been stolen from investors, finish and klaar,” says Prakke.
What is clear is that about R883m of Pickvest investors’ funds is unaccounted for. This was confirmed by business rescue practitioner Hans Klopper in his rescue plan.
Prakke has been a vocal critic against many dubious schemes including forex schemes Chinza, Prozet and Leaderguard, and property syndication companies Sharemax and Pickvest.
Prakke’s outspoken opinions have earned him many enemies, especially among the professionals associated with property syndication companies, including directors, auditors, lawyers, and dozens of financial advisers.