Appeal abandoned in WCape fraud case

Image courtesy

Image courtesy

A former Old Mutual team leader, who was jailed for four years on 62 counts of fraud, abandoned an application for leave to appeal against her sentence on Thursday.

Fairuz Terblanche, 49, of Mitchells Plain, appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

On Monday, Sonnenberg jailed her for four years, under legislation empowering prison authorities to release her after eight months to serve the rest of the sentence under house arrest.

Under house arrest, she would be permitted to leave home in the day to earn a living, but would be required to perform community service in her spare time. This would be in the form of cleaning or maintenance, usually at a police station.

Terblanche was brought into the court room wearing leg-irons, which were removed by a prison official before her case was called.

Legal aid attorney Hailey Lawrence, for Terblanche, told the court she no longer wished to appeal against her sentence. Terblanche was the administrator of the Old Mutual Retirement Fund.

During the absence of subordinates, she used their user-codes to access Old Mutual’s computer system to capture, authorise and approve payments from unclaimed retirement funds.

In doing so, she used the names of beneficiaries of the retirement funds Evergreen, NBS, BOE and Progressor, but changed their banking details in order to channel the money into her personal bank account.

At times, she instructed subordinates to process false requests from beneficiaries for the urgent payment of funds.

The embezzlement, totalling R914,918 happened between May 2007 and March 2010.

– Sapa

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