An accountant and financial advisor, Petrus Serdyn Louw (63) pleaded guilty on all 51 charges of fraud on 4 March 2021, and has been convicted as well as sentenced to 12 years direct imprisonment when he appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday, 4 March 2021.
Louw, a director of Louw and Cronje Inc. Chartered Accountants and Auditors Trading based in Porterville, acted as an accountant and financial advisor for several investors between July 2017 to March 2018.
He convinced the investors to entrust him with their funds and deposit these funds into the First National Bank (FNB) account from where funds would be invested in bulk for a better return.
Louw forged the FNB bank statements and provided the investors with false bank statements purporting to be held by his company with deposits held on behalf of the investors.
A case was opened and the matter was referred to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime for further investigation when investors did not received their returns. He was arrested for 51 counts of fraud, forgery, uttering and money laundering on the 27 November 2020.
The Hawks’ diligent investigation revealed that the investment funds were transferred into his personal account and were never utilised as per agreement with the investors. Louw embezzled over R60 million from his clients’ funds.
He was found guilty on 51 counts of Fraud, forgery, uttering and Contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) on the 4 March 2021. He was subsequently sentenced to 12 years direct imprisonment and furthermore he was declared unfit to possess a firearm.