Company Director to appear in court for COVID-19 TERS fraud

WESTERN CAPE – A 64-year-old company owner and director is due to appear in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Bellville, Cape Town on Friday, 24 June 2022. This comes after he had been served by the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation team with summons to appear in court along with his company (a juristic person) on 06 June 2022.

The Blackheath based signage company amongst others was affected by the hard lockdown in March 2020, consequently about 15 employees did not have income for about one month. However they returned to work when the lockdown was relaxed to less stringent levels. The company director allegedly applied for COVID-19 Temporary Employer / Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) covering even the period when the employees had returned to work. The company received an undue payment of R 205 695-45.

Only a few employees reportedly received the claimed funds for the period of the business closure whilst others were not paid. The matter was reported to the authorities by the Department of Labour for criminal investigation which led to arrest of the company director. The money was later paid back to the department during the course of criminal investigation and this did not deter criminal charges to the offence committed.

Source: South African Police Service