Fidentia financial director gets jail time

The financial director of Fidentia, Graham Maddock, was on Friday effectively jailed for seven years on 54 counts involving fraud, theft, money laundering, contraventions of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act and the reckless or fraudulent conduct of business.

Maddock appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court before magistrate Amrith Chabilall.

His wife and family sat on benches behind the dock, and all embraced him before the police court orderly led him from the courtroom to the holding cells to be transported to Pollsmoor Prison.

The hearing took the form of a plea-bargain agreement.

Although the charges concerned his involvement with J Arthur Brown’s Fidentia group as its financial director, Maddock’s chartered accounting firm, Maddock Incorporated, was cited in the plea-bargain agreement as accused number one, and Maddock as accused number two.

Scorpions prosecutor senior counsel Bruce Morrison said the case was the fist time in South African legal history that any company had been found guilty of money laundering—especially involving a sum of R200-million.

Maddock was in the dock in his personal capacity, as well as representing Maddock Incorporated.

Morrison said Maddock Incorporated was in fact Maddock’s alter ego.

The firm itself was fined R50-million for money laundering, but the fine was suspended for five years.

For five violations of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, the firm was fined an additional R10-million, also suspended for five years.

Morrison said the sentences imposed on both were a message to other accountable institutions that they had to comply with the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, as well as the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Morrison added: “When we come after them, this is the kind of fine they will have to pay.”

On the money laundering charges, the plea agreement said Maddock’s conduct was deliberately orchestrated by Brown.—Sapa

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