You are currently viewing our desktop site, do you want to download our app instead?
Moneyweb Android App Moneyweb iOS App Moneyweb Mobile Web App

NEW SENS search and JSE share prices

More about the app

South Africa police probing three fraud cases at Steinhoff

As well as fraud, one of the cases adds theft, extortion, forgery and a failure to report knowledge of wrongdoing to the list of offenses.
Police investigate three cases of fraud in Steinhoff. Picture: Bloomberg

A South African police unit is probing three cases of fraud at Steinhoff International Holdings NV after the embattled retailer submitted a series of allegations against former Chief Executive Officer Markus Jooste.

Two of the cases were reported in Stellenbosch, where Steinhoff is based, and one in Johannesburg, Minister of Police Bheki Cele said in a reply to a parliamentary question emailed on Friday. As well as fraud, one of the Stellenbosch cases adds theft, extortion, forgery and a failure to report knowledge of wrongdoing to the list of offenses.

Jooste, 57, quit as CEO of Steinhoff on December 5, the day the owner of Conforama in France, Mattress Firm in the US and Poundland in the UK reported accounting irregularities that have wiped more than 95% off the company’s share price. Steve Booysen, the chairman of Steinhoff’s audit committee, submitted the report against Jooste to the Hawks, as the police unit is known, at the end of January.

Read More: How Jooste profited from Steinhoff property deals.

Steinhoff itself is being investigated by legal authorities and regulators around the world and is being sued by a Dutch investor group and former Chairman Christo Wiese. The retailer has appointed PwC to probe its finances, with a particular focus on off-balance-sheet structures and deals with related parties. Its findings are expected to be published by the end of the year.

Steinhoff’s report accuses Jooste of being party to the falsification of accounting records, providing false or misleading information with a fraudulent purpose, being party to an act or omission by Steinhoff calculated to defraud creditors, employees or shareholders, and being party to untrue written statements required by the Companies Act, Cele said.

Steinhoff shares fell 0.9% to 8 euro cents as of 11:31 am in Frankfurt, where the company moved its primary listing in 2015. Separately on Friday, Steinhoff won support of creditors representing 85% of the external debt of Steinhoff Europe to extend a support period for the company to agree to a debt restructuring plan.

© 2018 Bloomberg

COMMENTS   2

Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in to comment.

SIGN IN SIGN UP

The criminal cases will only go somewhere when an outsider goes for it. There is ZERO chance the police can investigate from outside and even less chance that the Steinhoff circle of friends and family go after their own. Jooste will never see the inside of a prison for any length of time.

If the investment managers at the big financial companies could not detect the misrepresentations in the financial statements, what are the odds that the local law-enforcement agencies will figure it out, let alone prove it?

A cop that has the skills to gather the evidence needed for a guilty verdict, has the skills to be an investment manager. Why will he work as a policeman if he can work in the financial industry for 10 times the salary?

End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR

Podcasts

INSIDER SUBSCRIPTIONS APP VIDEOS RADIO / LISTEN LIVE SHOP OFFERS WEBINARS NEWSLETTERS TRENDING PORTFOLIO TOOL CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles: Advanced Search
Click a Company: