Trustee to be appointed to Tannenbaum's estate

A trustee for the South African estate of Barry Tannenbaum, who allegedly operated a Ponzi scheme that cost investors billions, will be appointed next week, Johannesburg attorney Ian Levitt said on Friday.

The application was granted by the master of the high court in Johannesburg earlier on Friday, Levitt—who is acting for one of the scheme’s investors—said.

Attorney Paul Winer, who is acting for a group of investors in Tannenbaum’s scheme, confirmed a trustee would be appointed “no later than Wednesday”.

Winer said when the trustee was appointed, “he will take appropriate steps”.

According to Levitt, most of Tannenbaum’s assets had already been spirited out of the country.

“But there might be enough to fund any litigation overseas,” he said.

That litigation would include an injunction to freeze Tannenbaum’s assets in Australia and have them repatriated to South Africa.

Extraditing Tannenbaum to South Africa might not be possible, Levitt said.

“If you lay criminal charges you can try and bring him back—South Africa and Australia do have an extradition treaty.

However, South Africa’s last two applications to extradite people from Australia had failed.

“This was because of the state of South African prisons,” Levitt said.

However, Tannenbaum’s immigration status would be investigated.

“If his immigration hasn’t been finalised then the Australian authorities would be more inclined to send Tannenbaum back.”

Levitt added that both the South African Reserve Bank and the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation had been in touch with him so that he could assist them.—Sapa


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