Monday, December 1, 2014

Ex Fidentia boss sentenced to jail - special Investigations

Special Investigations

Author: Sapa
01 December 2014 12:07
Ex Fidentia boss sentenced to jail

SCA set aside previous sentence for fraud.

Former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown was sentenced on Monday to in effect 15 years in jail after the Supreme Court of Appeal set aside his previous sentence for fraud.

Brown received 15 years' imprisonment on each of two fraud charges. The sentences would run concurrently.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had appealed the R75,000 fine (CORRECT) and suspended jail term handed down by the Western Cape High Court last May.

Brown was convicted of two fraud charges relating to his handling of investments for the Transport Education and Training Authority and the Mantadia Asset Trust Company between 2002 and 2006.

He had originally faced 192 charges.

The appeal was heard last month.

"It wasn't just about the amount involved. It was about the impact that the commission of the crime had," NPA spokesman Nathi Mncube said.

He said Brown would have to report to the nearest prison as soon as possible to begin his sentence.

His legal team had not yet made contact with the NPA.


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J Arthur Brown (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The Financial Services Board (FSB) is very happy with the decision by the Supreme Court of Appeal to overturn what it regarded as the overly lenient sentence handed down by the Western Cape High Court to J Arthur Brown, former CEO of Fidentia.

FSB CEO Dube Tshidi said on Monday Brown’s previous sentence of a R150 000 fine or 36 months in prison, was a complete miscarriage of justice.

“The previous sentence simply did not acknowledge the severity of Brown’s crime and the significant impact his actions had on thousands of poor South Africans. We are extremely pleased that the court has recognised this and instead decided to impose a custodial sentence of 15 years for each of the two counts for which he was charged," said Tshidi.

"This is a great day for South Africa’s justice system and for our citizens. It shows that no matter who you are, if you break the law, you will be prosecuted – and sentenced appropriately.”

Brown was convicted last year after he pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud which, inter alia, allowed him access to funds intended for the beneficiaries of Mantadia (Matco) which was renamed the Living Hands Umbrella Trust by Fidentia.

“This judgement attests to the quality of the investigations conducted by the FSB. On the strength of what was uncovered by our team, Brown not only admitted to the crimes he committed but also acknowledged that these were ‘not mickey mouse charges’," said Tshidi.

"The initial decision to fine him was truly ill-conceived. We are very pleased that our justice system has now acknowledged the seriousness of this case and acted to sentence Brown appropriately.”

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Read more about: fidentia case | j arthur brown | financial services

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