Ricochet News

Jail for tax claim fraudster

Sep 6, 2018
Jail for tax claim fraudster

A 44-year-old Cape Town man, John Martin Gradwell Bantam, was sentenced to 10 years in jail after he was convicted by the Cape Town Regional Court on 121 charges of tax fraud amounting to almost R700 000.

"Bantam was employed as a tax practitioner by a reputable Chartered Accounting Firm in Cape Town," described police spokesperson, Captain Philani Nkwalase.

"He recruited 28 taxpayers around Cape Town, completed their income tax returns and claimed fraudulent refunds on their behalf in exchange for money."

Capt Nkwalase said that Bantam registered all his clients through e-filing without the knowledge of his employer and submitted fraudulent claims for business losses and inflated medical expenses. 

Bantam was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.

Meanwhile, a former councillor, Wilma Brady (59), appeared at Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville on a charge of fraud and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

"This follows her conviction on both charges on 11 July 2018," said Capt Nkwalase.

"The former Chairperson of the Oostenberg Sub-Council of the City of Cape Town, fraudulently appointed a service provider to build 33 homes worth approximately R3 million in Malibu Village, Blue Downs without following due tender processes.

"She further misrepresented Provincial Housing Department in the Western Cape by providing a document, which purports to be a letter of appointment to the service provider on behalf of the said government Department."

Brady was sentenced to 10 years wholly suspended for 5 years with stringent conditions.

"Additionally, she was fined R10 000 and 24 months community service."

The Hawks’ Provincial Head in Western Cape, Major General Nombuso Portia Khoza, welcomed both sentences imposed on Bantam and Brady.

General Khoza appeals to the community to act positively by reporting economic crimes to the authorities for investigation.