South Africa News

Couple allegedly forged bank statements to receive R53 million from Industrial Development Corporation

The Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Joburg has released husband and wife, Palello Job Lebaka and Busisiwe Lebaka, after they were arrested for allegedly defrauding the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in July 2018.

The couple allegedly defrauded the IDC of R53 million, according to Captain Lloyd Ramovha, Gauteng spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks.

“They were granted bail of R5,000 each and the matter was adjourned to July 16, 2024 for exchanges of docket copies,” said Ramovha.

In an earlier update, the Hawks said the couple appeared in court on Tuesday and they were remanded to Wednesday for a formal bail application.

The multi-million rand fraud allegedly happened in 2018.

“The Johannesburg-based serious commercial crime investigation team arrested Palello Job Lebaka, 50, and Busisiwe Lebaka, 53, for alleged fraud amounting R53 million committed against the Industrial Development Corporation in July 2018,” said Ramovha.

A case of fraud was registered at Sandton police station in February 2020 by the IDC.

“The Hawks investigated the case resulting in the couple being arrested on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. The couple, as directors of an entity called Bukabopa Holding (Pty) Limited applied for a business funding at the IDC amounting to just over of R53 million,” said Ramovha.

“In the said application, an agreement was reached that they needed to make a contribution of R1 million from the company’s coffers to prove liquidity and the viability of the company (Bukabopa Holding (Pty) Limited).”

Ramovha said a thorough investigation by the Hawks unearthed that the couple misrepresented facts and forged entries in the bank statements of their company, in order to appear worthy of the loan.

“They appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday with the matter adjourned until Wednesday for a formal bail application,” he said.

-IOL

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