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Estcourt bookkeeper sentenced for 555 counts of fraud—Hawks comment

Estcourt bookkeeper sentenced for 555 counts of fraud—Hawks comment
Estcourt Regional Court passed judgment on 41-year-old Fungai Desire Makunde on Tuesday afternoon, 23 February 2021, for 555 counts of fraud. While sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, he will only effectively serve seven years in prison with three years suspended for a five year period.

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A hotel bookkeeper has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment after defrauding his former employer out of R12 million. 

Estcourt Regional Court passed judgment on 41-year-old Fungai Desire Makunde on Tuesday afternoon, 23 February 2021, for 555 counts of fraud. While sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, he will only effectively serve seven years in prison with three years suspended for a five year period.

Makunde was initially arrested by the Pietermaritzburg Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in 2019 after his fraudulent activities at Champagne Castle Hotel were uncovered.

According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha; from December 2014 to January 2019, Makunde made numerous fraudulent transactions, adding up to over R12 million, by diverting funds meant for hotel suppliers and creditors to his personal bank accounts.

To date, none of the money has been recovered. However, law enforcement will take the appropriate steps to recover the stolen money. 

Captain Ramovha elaborates, “The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) will now begin their work in this regard.”

Moreover, when looking at Makunde’s sentencing, the captain highlights, “What is important, is that convictions such as these are meant to deter like-minded individuals from committing similar offences.”

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