Assheton-Smith Incorporated in Die Burger 27 June 2013

Masterbond-man erken dat hy al weer bedrieg


Masterbond man once again admits that he committed fraud

Yesterday one of the masterminds behind the Masterbond  case admitted to committing fraud and not paying tax.

Yesterday, Ernst Coetzee appeared in the Stellenbosch Civil Court where there was an enquiry held in relation to the affairs of 1Mobile.

The Company, 1 Mobile, which was registered under the name of Red Sunset Trading 14 (Pty) Ltd, was liquidated in October 2012.
Coetzee, who served a prison sentence after being found guilty of fraud in the Masterbond case in the 1990’s, was sequestrated. He was one of the managers of 1Mobile. A total of 94 investors invested money with 1Mobile for the purchasing of cellphone terminals which one would be able to purchase airtime from.

The concept of the Company was that the investors would pay R6000.00 per terminal which terminal would be installed, managed and maintained by 1Mobile.
1Mobile promised a return of 40% per year (on the R6000.00), if an investor was to conclude a joint venture agreement with 1Mobile, such investor would be able to earn 50% on the turnover which the investor’s terminal would generate.

The terminal is a small machine, just bigger than a regular office telephone landline, which can be installed in any shop where airtime for a cellphone can be purchased.

According to court documents approximately R84 000 000.00 flowed through the Company’s bank statements.

According to Ryno Engelbrecht, the liquidator of the Company, it still remains to be determined exactly how much money investors lost, since the forensic audit has not yet been completed.

Shortly after Red Sunset Trading 14 was liquidated, a handful of investors requested that an enquiry be conducted into the affairs of the Company.

Attorney Craig Assheton-Smith, who conducted the enquiry, put various aspects of the venture to Coetzee. He wanted to know, inter alia, about Dirk Joubert a director of 1Mobile, and if he was aware that the Company financed various payments of a personal nature to Mr Coetzee. Such payments included payments in relation to Coetzee’s wife- and son’s motor vehicles, their cell phone contracts, DSTV and groceries. Coetzee advised that Joubert had been aware of this.

Assheton-Smith further examined Coetzee as to if he ever paid any tax on the aforesaid payments.

“No”, Coetzee answered. He further admitted that the Company also paid for the rental; of a farm near Franschoek (were Coetzee and his family lived) but that these payments were in arrears because of the fact that the Company went into liquidation.

“The landlord had to get an eviction order to remove you from the premises because you did not want to move”, Assheton-Smith said. Coetzee admitted same.

Finally Assheton-Smith questioned him if any of the promises made to one of the investors, Theo Oosthysen, were fulfilled by the Company. Coetzee admitted that not all the monies Oosthyzen had invested were allocated to buying terminals.

Assheton-Smith in Die Burger 27 June 2013