Car dealership owner granted bail over multi-million rand fraud scheme

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A 59-year-old man has been released on R30 000 bail after being arrested for apparently colluding with a car salesman to pocket money from vehicle sales fraudulently approved at a dealership.

According to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), also known as the Hawks, Griessel Michael Peter, the owner of a car dealership in Johannesburg and  Libenberg Johannes Wellem, who worked at another dealership in Mthatha, concocted an elaborate scheme to the tune of millions of rands.

“[Wellem]He reportedly targeted customers whose vehicle finance applications were declined and manipulated the company systems in order to approve the declined applications by making misrepresentations that the clients had traded in some cars. It is alleged that once the system approved the applications, he would not inform the clients but instead release the cars to Peter without any money paid to Ronnie’s trust account. The vehicles would be sold at Peter’s dealership, once sold, the duo would share the proceeds amongst themselves,” said Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela in a statement.

MORE THAN R10 MILLION IN VEHICLES FRAUDULENTLY SOLD

Wellem was previously arrested for his role in the scheme and made an appearance in court himself. The pair is said to have carried out the fraudulent activities between April and June 2017.

The Hawks say this scheme involved about 40 vehicles worth a combined R10.5 million.

“Hawks investigation uncovered a total of forty (40) vehicles sold in this fashion. Ronnie’s Motors was consequently prejudiced cash to the value of more than R10.5 million in this orchestration. The Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team of the Hawks apprehended Wellem in December 2020. Further investigation led to the additionally arrest of Peter on 6 May 2022. Peter will join his co-accused Wellem when he appears in the same court on 24 June 2022”

Hawks spokesperson Yolisa Mgolodela

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