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Former Cape attorney slapped with 55-year jail term for 48 charges

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A former Western Cape attorney and conveyancer has been slapped with a 55-year prison sentence after being found guilty on a series of charges ranging from fraud to money laundering and theft.

The Bellville serious commercial crimes court sentenced 57-year-old Rugaya van der Schyff, 57 on Thursday.

Western Cape NPA spokesperson Zinzi Hani said Van der Schyff was arrested for the second time on October 20 2022 on fraud and theft charges involving R500,000.

“Van der Schyff was first arrested in 2019 by the same team for misappropriating trust funds to the value of R4.8m and subsequently released on R20,000 bail.

“In 2017 the accused was struck off the roll of attorneys by the Western Cape High Court after an interdict application which was lodged in 2016.”

The Hawks’ investigation showed that despite this, Van der Schyff continued facilitating offers to purchase several properties from 2019 to date, knowing full well she was disbarred.

“Van der Schyff was sentenced to a combined 10 years’ imprisonment for two counts of money laundering, four years for contravening the Legal Practice Act, another 10 years for nine counts of fraud and a further 18 years for four additional counts of fraud, suspended for five years with conditions.

“On 30 counts of theft, the former attorney was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, while an additional three years’ imprisonment was suspended for five years on an additional count of theft.”

Van der Schyff was convicted of 48 charges.

The court ordered the sentences be served concurrently, meaning Van der Schyff will effectively serve ten years of direct imprisonment.

Source: TimesLIVE

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