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Former VWSA Fleet Administrator Guilty of R12 Million Fraud

Published March 27, 2024
1 months ago

In what has emerged as a shocking breach of trust and corporate malfeasance, Christo de Jager, a former fleet administrator at Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA), stands convicted on numerous charges of fraud by the Commercial Crimes Court in Gqeberha. De Jager, 60, faced the law on an astounding 595 counts of fraud, committed over a substantial period that extended from November 2014 to as recently as March 2021.

As divulged in the proceedings, the prosecution led by the Hawks, an elite unit of the South African Police Service (SAPS) known for targeting organized crime, economic crime, and corruption, laid bare a calculated operation wherein De Jager abused his official capacity within VWSA to perpetuate a fraud amounting to a staggering R12 million.

Ndiphiwe Mhlakuvana, a spokesperson for the Hawks in the Eastern Cape, detailed how De Jager entangled himself with an undisclosed accomplice employed at a body repair company. Together, they established a covert arrangement, where De Jager, through his privileged position, generated fraudulent invoices for non-existent repair work. The elaborate scheme not only deceived VWSA but also structured a consistent flow of unwarranted income to the culprits, as De Jager was compensated monthly for the false billing.

De Jager's misdeeds caught up with him when he was taken into custody in March last year. Following his arrest, he was released on a warning, an indication of the trust the judicial system placed on his adherence to bail conditions. Despite the leniency afforded to him, De Jager's past actions drew to a close with the court's guilty verdict, marking an end to his fraudulent saga.

The conviction of De Jager sends a forceful message on the serious repercussions of corporate fraud. The pecuniary benefit he enjoyed for years at the expense of VWSA's coffers represents a significant loss to the automaker and highlights the need for stringent internal controls within corporations.

In the upcoming events, the sentencing proceedings for De Jager are scheduled to commence on the 22nd of May. With the extent of his operations and the millions involved, the case has gripped the attention of not only the automotive industry but also the nation, as it sees fit to witness the concluding chapter of this corporate crime and the deliverance of justice.

As this news reverberates through the communities and the business sector, it particularly amplifies the relentless efforts by the Hawks to clamp down on economic crimes that threaten corporate governance and integrity.

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