FSCA fines Markus Jooste, three others around R241m

For insider trading-related breaches.
Image: Uli Deck/dpa /Getty Images

Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste was fined R161 million by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) for insider trading prior to its share collapse on November 30, 2017.

Although Jooste, who departed days after the sell off, did not directly benefit from this knowledge, his warning four friends via a text message of the issues the company was going through led to them acting on information other shareholders did not have access to.

The message Jooste allegedly sent was: “You will always ask my opinion. It will take Steinhoff a long time to work through all the bad news and America. So they are better places to invest your money. Take the current price immediately and delete this SMS and don’t mention it to anyone.”

The FSCA’s penalty is one of the largest imposed on an individual.

“The penalty of R161 568 068 imposed on Mr Jooste includes a multiple of three times the losses avoided due to the transactions executed by the recipients of the warning SMS, plus the amounts discussed further in this statement regarding his joint and several liability with two recipients of the SMS,” it said in a statement.

This penalty also includes an amount of R1 million for disclosing inside information and encouraging Jaap du Toit to sell his Steinhoff shares. Du Toit never acted on the contents of the warning SMS.

Aside from the fine against Jooste, there was also a fine against Ocsan Investment Enterprises, a company that was controlled by a long-time acquaintance of Jooste, the late Ockie Oosthuizen. Oosthuizen had instructed Ocsan’s sale of Steinhoff shares on November 30, 2017 following receipt of Jooste’s warning.

“Out of (a) R115 867 122 penalty, Ocsan is solely responsible for R77 244 748 and the remaining portion being R38 622 374 is payable by Ocsan based on joint and several liability with Mr Jooste,” FSCA said.

Aside from Oosthuizen, Jooste’s acquaintance Dr Gerhardus Diedericks Burger was fined R3 002 630 and Jooste’s chauffeur at the time, Marthinus Swiegelaar, was fined R18 328 for acting on the warning to them.

Effectively the fines for the breaches of section 78 (4) (a) and section 78 (5) of the Financial Markets Act, 19 of 2012 come to R241 million for all four individuals.

FSCA divisional executive for enforcement Brandon Topham, in a media briefing on the issue, says this is not the end of its investigations into Steinhoff and Jooste and it expects to conclude its inquires by the end of April 2021.

Jooste will have 30 days to pay the fine from the day the invoice for it is received. Topham notes that has he has the right to appeal it could go as far as the Constitutional Court.

Topham said Jooste cooperated with the FSCA investigation but like the late Oosthuizen denied any wrongdoing. Burger and Swiegelaar, however, admitted fault.

He said one of the reasons the investigation into Steinhoff has taken so long was that the FSCA wanted to take “extra precautions” given the scale of the matter. This saw it consult with outside legal councils to see if the interpretation of the law and findings were correct.

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A drop in the ocean compared to what other shareholders lost!

Ok. When is he getting the orange overalls?

I cannot stand wealth destroyers.

Wealth destroyer? No. He never created wealth in the first place; what he did was create a buzz, a fiction, and most importantly a fraud.

Steinhoff was never going anywhere. Beware of smooth talking “smouse”.

J Arthur Brown anyone? Is he still in prison, umm no. Released under the Covid low risk prisoner.

Ok, but why hasn’t he been arrested yet????

Ok. So, this lazy Golden Retriever does have teeth after all! Looks like its bite is worse than its bark for a change.

So please explain carefully and slowly how this will help the Steinhoff shareholders. The FSB and JSE failed completely in their duties to protect investors !!

Like other above have said – time for lock up!!!

Nice though to see some big fines, but will they be paid and when? Also, what’s with the piffley little slap issued to Marthinus Swiegelaar (a mere R18 k)? That’s like coddling his eggs in talcum powder and cotton wool.

I wonder how much the fine will be after they all strike a deal with the FSCA

You right James, the hanna hannaing will go in for years.

Lol – although Jooste didn’t directly benefit from this knowledge. What utter garbage. He knew way before anyone else ever did

please don’t let us forget about Wiese….he seems to by slowly trying to get of the radar!

It seems that Wiese has lost more than anybody else. Very naughty of Marcus to warn his chauffeur and not his boss!

Opening a betting book on this ever being paid….
Who will start ?

….and not a moment too soon!

The criminal charges should be laid asap!

Who benefits from this fine ??

The JSE? the FSB? or is it another “tax” to go into the black hole??

For sure it wont be any one who has lost out in the whole mess

He should be served with 241 PK’s

Now starts the negotiations leading to a “settlement” of R2.4m.

Most interesting for me is the chauffeur. He seems to me to be like the MD in the Bird Island book. I hope the NPA finds this Swiegelaar guy and has a fireside chat with him. I bet you he knows plenty driving around a man with an ego the size of Jooste.

in 2017 Jooste wrote to Steinhoff: “It is time for me to move on and take the consequences of my behaviour like a man. Sorry that I have disappointed all of you and I never meant to cause any of you any harm.”

Wanner gaan jy dit vat soos ‘n man Markus?

1. Where’s the righting of lost shareholders’ investment money?
2. Where’s the jailtime?

This is not a punishment. This is not any form of correction.

What is still quite amazing is that people who you would have thought could read financial statements, like Christo Wiese, didn’t pick anything irregular up for years.

…and this skelm is still walking free ?

This article is so old, dates back to the 30th of October.

Are there no more investigations?

End of comments.

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