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Free State vehicle finance fraudsters sentenced to ten years in prison

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Elizabeth Knouwds, 40, and Willem Van Tonder, 35, have been sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for R3 million worth fraud, corruption, money laundering, and their involvement in criminal gang acts.

Knouwds and Van Tonder were sentenced on Friday by the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court. Both administered a second-hand vehicle dealership, Lulu’s Auto CC in Jacobsdal, between May 2008 and October 2009.

The woman and man from the Free State were sentenced to ten years for fraud, four years for money laundering, and four years for being involved in criminal gang activities.

The Hawks spokesperson Warrant Officer Lynda Steyn, says they were found guilty of conspiring and yielding numerous vehicle finance applications with false documents to Absa bank in Kimberley, then inflated the vehicles’ value to almost a total of R43 million.

After the bank paid out the money, they then pocketed the difference from the inflated value, Steyn concluded.

The sentences were assigned to run concurrently; this gives a significant ten years imprisonment to each.

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