EASTERN CAPE – Two women sentenced for fraud, theft and money laundering

EASTERN CAPE – Rose Shonge (64) and Virginia Masemola (46) were sentenced yesterday by the Port Elizabeth Specialised Commercial Crime Court for theft, fraud and money laundering.

The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team arrested the pair in March 2019 following a probe into an October 2015 bogus advertisement on Gumtree that purported to sell TLB Caterpillars. The Hawks investigation revealed that the said advertisement was created by an inmate, Carl Fischer who was serving jail time in prison.

In the advertisement, Carl Fischer went by the name Hennie Boshoff. He managed to convince the victim to deposit an amount of R170 000-00 with the agreement that the caterpillar will be delivered afterwards. Further investigation revealed that Shonge and Masemola were working with Fischer as the money was deposited into an account belonging to Shonge and subsequently transferred to Masemola’s account where it was further laundered via Shoprite money market.

Fischer stood trial for this matter whilst in custody. Shonge and Masemola were granted R 4000-00 and R5000-00 bail respectively in March 2019. Fischer was then sentenced on 18 April 2019 to a 30 year imprisonment term which amounted to a 10 years effective jail term.

Shonge and Masemola were found guilty as charged on 30 September 2020, leading up to them being sentenced yesterday, 30 November 2020 as follows:

Shonge was sentenced to 36 months correctional supervision as well as 8 years imprisonment suspended for 5 years on condition that she is not found guilty of similar offences during the period of suspension. The court has further ruled that in addition to the R5000-00 she has already paid back to the victim, an additional amount of R15 000-00 should also be paid back by 31 January 2021.

Masemola was also sentenced to 36 months correctional supervision as well as 10 years imprisonment suspended for 5 years on condition that is not found guilty of similar offences and that she compensates the complainant with an additional amount of R 142 000-00 in instalments besides the R 8 000-00 that she has already coughed up.