The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) revealed on Friday that the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) had frozen two hidden bank accounts in Israel, containing about R101 million, of fugitive fraud suspects Ronald Bobroff and his son, Darren.
“The huge freezing order was the result of excellent cooperation between both the South African and Israeli authorities,” the NPA said in a statement.
“The money in the bank accounts was initially frozen by the Israeli authorities after they became suspicious about transactions being conducted on the accounts by the Bobroffs.”
The freezing order was obtained in the high court in Pretoria on July 28.
The Bobroffs, personal injury lawyers, fled to Australia after they appeared in the High Court in Pretoria when the Law Society of the Northern Provinces sought to have them struck from the roll for allegedly overcharging accident victims who had won awards from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) by 10%
The Bobroffs disappeared ahead of handing themselves over to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks).
The AFU had argued in court papers that the funds in the two bank accounts were most probably the proceeds of unlawful activities, “namely, fraud and/or theft and/or money laundering and that the Bobroffs laundered funds of their clients into the accounts in Israel”.
“The money is currently kept safe in Israel until the finalisation of forfeiture proceedings,” the NPA said.
Ronald Bobroff and Partners Inc allegedly entered into contingency agreements with clients and are alleged to have overcharged them.
“The Bobroff’s modus operandi was to convince clients to enter into these agreements. The clients were unaware that these agreements were in actual fact null and void and that it was used as a tool by the Bobroffs to commit alleged fraud, theft and tax evasion.”