Ten years direct imprisonment.
After many delays, Patrick Stapleton (66) was finally sentenced to prison for a fraudulent investment scheme that fleeced prospective investors out of millions of rands. Stapleton was the mastermind behind this ploy.
The sentence was handed down last Thursday in the Durban Commercial Court after Stapleton was earlier found guilty of 147 charges of fraud and one charge each for breaching the Banking Act and breaching the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.
Stapleton’s company Dynamic Group was also found guilty of these two offenses and fined R10 000 for each charge. Each fine has been suspended for a period of three years, says Natasha Kara, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
RNews previously reported that Stapleton was found guilty of fraud in June last year after defrauding 147 prospective investors out of more than R11 million. Investors were given the impression that they were investing money in the development of a unique mining vehicle and a painting company.
The investors consequently deposited large sums of money into the Dynamic Group’s bank account and were promised huge sums in interest payments. However, these payouts never happened.
Stapleton, his son, Michael Luke (42), and his wife, Shannon Dicks, were arrested in 2017 in connection with the prank.
Michael Luke would later testify against his father and was found guilty of fraud in April 2019 after entering into a plea agreement with the state.
Dicks was acquitted.