Missing man features in Fidentia indictment

Steve Goodwin, the man who has been described as the real founder of Fidentia, has been named repeatedly in a draft indictment against J Arthur Brown.

The 38-page document was handed over by prosecutors this week when Brown and the suspended chief executive of the Transport Education Training Authority (Teta), Piet Bothma, appeared briefly in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

The two men face a battery of charges, including fraud, money laundering and corruption.

Goodwin is currently believed to be in Australia, having left South Africa just days before Brown was arrested in March last year.

The draft charge sheet says that at the time Goodwin owned and was managing director of a company named Worthytrade 185.

Acting as a broker, he initiated the contact that resulted in Teta entrusting promissory notes worth R100,3-million to Maddock Incorporated in April 2003.

That was a company run by Fidentia director and accountant Graham Maddock, who earlier this month began a seven-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to theft and money laundering.

Teta, according to the charge sheet, was made to believe Maddock was Fidentia Asset Management’s (FAM) independent auditor, and managed a trust account for FAM.

Without authority from the Teta board or council, both of the notes were sold off, and the funds deposited in accounts linked to FAM and Brown.

Teta, unaware of this, subsequently entrusted R100-million cash to FAM, depositing it into accounts nominated by Maddock, Brown or Goodwin.

Over the next three years, FAM gave the Teta monthly statements on the investments.

“The two promissory notes that were held by Maddock Incorporated on behalf of FAM were reflected on these monthly statements during the whole investment period as still being invested,” the charge sheet says.

The charge sheet says Goodwin would draw up these monthly statements, then email them to Brown and Maddock.

Maddock would place the statements on a FAM letterhead and forward them to Teta.

“The statements were a fabrication and ... Maddock was party thereto in order to hide from Teta the true state of affairs regarding its investment.

“The funds had in fact been utilised by accused number one [Brown], FAM and/or other companies in the group of companies to pay personal expenses and/or company expenses and/or creditors.”

Fidentia “never traded and/or invested the funds as undertaken”, the charge sheet says.

It says Brown acted “in the execution of a common purpose” with Goodwin in giving a R6-million bribe to Bothma to ensure that the Teta board made the investment with FAM.

Goodwin is also named repeatedly in the section of the charge sheet that deals with money laundering.

The document says Brown and Bothma transferred the money in tranches “to various bank accounts” in a way that sought to disguise the source of the funds, or any interest which they, Maddock “and/or Steven William Goodwin” had in it.

Brown and Bothma appear again on these charges on April 24.—Sapa

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