The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has welcomed the 15-year jail sentence handed to David Wilmot, who stole R23m from clients under the guise that he would trade forex on their behalf.
The Port Elizabeth Commercial Crime Court sentenced Wilmot, 47, last week. He pleaded guilty to 153 counts of fraud, one count of contravening the Exchange Control Act, one count of contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, and one count of money laundering, FSCA said.
The regulator started investigating Wilmot, who ran a company called Nava Shore Holdings, in 2013. It found that Wilmot took money from clients under the guise that he would trade forex on their behalf.
He received R23.2 million from investors, but only R2.4 million was transferred to overseas foreign exchange trading accounts.
"The remaining R20.8 million was used to fund Wilmot's extravagant lifestyle, all while he reassured investors that their money was safe and increasing in value, and when prompted, produced fake documents as proof," FSCA said in a statement.
According to a report in The Herald, Wilmot spent large amounts on sending his children to private schools, as well as on a car for his wife.
Some 48 people lost money, including an elderly woman who were left destitute by the scam.
FSCA reminded South Africans to always check that a person or entity is registered with the FSCA to provide financial advisory and intermediary services and what category of advice it is that the entity is registered to provide. "There are instances where persons are registered to provide basic advisory services for a low risk product and then offer services of a far more complex and risky nature."