Jail the only option for businesswoman who stole R5.5 million, court hears

JULY 27, 2015

Jail time is the only suitable sentence for Free State fraudster and thief, Lianné Greyling,  who was found guilty of theft and fraud to the amount of R5.5m, the Bloemfontein Regional Court heard on Monday.

Suspended sentences or fines are not options, a social worker testified in the sentencing procedures of the 27-year-old Free State businesswoman.

“The community should be protected against her. In addition, jail time will also help her to be rehabilitated,” Ingrid Bengell, a social worker, told the court.

Bengell testified that she believed Greyling had shown no remorse.

“Yes, she pleaded guilty, and yes, she said she is finished with crime. But can you justify your deeds by blaming it on what happened in your past? As grown-ups, we have choices. It is difficult to say if she can just change her ways. She needs professional help.”

She said Greyling is highly intelligent and performed well at school with five distinctions in matric. “She can do whatever she chooses. But I find it difficult to believe that Greyling kicked her drug habit by herself and without help.”

Greyling, neatly dressed in a black suit and pearl earrings, listened attentively as Bengell testified about her report.

She was found guilty on 12 charges of fraud and 12 of theft in April this year after pleading guilty.

The charges related to luxury motor vehicles and spares which she imported for clients.

During her testimony in mitigation of sentence, she revealed how she had already been found guilty of fraud charges in her matric year in Kempton Park. At the time, she had been given a suspended sentence.

Earlier, evidence was put before the court that she had also worked as a barmaid and a stripper in Port Elizabeth before she started her own import business in 2009.

She also testified earlier about her drug addiction from 2006 to 2008, until she fell pregnant with the first of her three daughters. Her mother also had a criminal record of theft and fraud, and abused drugs and alcohol.

The matter continues.

---News24wire