Man sentenced for defrauding Public Works

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PHOTO: 123rf.com

A businessman, Nicolas John Eyberg, appeared before the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court this week. He pleaded guilty to money laundering in violation of Section 4 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 and was subsequently sentenced.

“In 2015, a senior official in the Free State Department of Public Works became suspicious of fraudulent payments made to a company owned by Eyberg known as New Horizon Belegging,” stated Hawks spokesperson Captain Christopher Singo.

“The company had a lease agreement with the department for a building in Harrismith. It was discovered that the accused and his company were submitting inflated and fraudulent invoices for the property,” added the spokesperson.

The fraudulent payments were intended for rates, water, and electricity. Consequently, the Department of Public Works incurred a loss exceeding R3 million due to these activities.

“The matter was then reported to the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team in Bloemfontein for further investigation. It was discovered that the department would make payments to the accused, and after receiving the payments, he would transfer the money to his co–accused,” said Singo.

The court sentenced Eyberg to ten years of imprisonment, suspended for five years, granted that he is not convicted of the same offense during this period. Additionally, he was fined R50 000, payable in monthly instalments of R2 500.

The court took into consideration that Eyberg had already repaid the R3 850 100.09 lost by the department.

 

Compiled by Warren Hawkins

warren@mahareng.co.za