Former financial advisor sentenced for fraud

WESTERN CAPE � A former Sanlam financial advisor, Francois Martinus Labuschagne (51), has been slapped with a ten year sentence after he was convicted in the Bellville Commercial Crime Court on Monday, 28 January 2019 for multiple charges of fraud and forgery.

Labuschagne was arrested in Louis Trichardt on January 15, 2017 by members of the local detective branch, in collaboration with the Western Cape Hawks following a six year investigation into fraudulent activities in the Ceres Sanlam branch between August 2007 and January 2010, where he defrauded over 32 clients of their hard earned savings amounting to over R650 000.

Labuschagne deceitfully convinced his clients to withdraw a portion and or full benefit from their investment portfolio, thereafter he claimed that he would reinvest it on their behalf with guaranteed higher returns but instead used the money for self-gain.

The convicted one-time financial advisor had been on the run before he was captured in Limpopo. His case was subsequently transferred to the commercial crime court in Bellville, where he made several appearances before his case was recently wrapped up.

The court has ordered Labuschagne to repay over half a million rand from his pension and the balance of the misappropriated funds through instalments. The ten year sentence imposed on Labuschagne is wholly suspended for a period of five years on condition that the accused is not found guilty of similar offences.

A further sentence of thirty months in correctional supervision was imposed on him with a treatment /rehabilitation programmes as determined at re-assessment by the social worker at the Community Correction Office.

Source: South African Police Service