Con artist who even swindled his own family is ‘a pathetic liar’
Judge lambastes graduate who splashed out on a R1m sports car with ill-gotten gains
After graduating from business school, 21-year-old Kutloano Uriah Maleka launched a company and was soon driving a Jaguar F-Type around Johannesburg.
Unfortunately, the R280,000 deposit he put down on the R1m sports car, as well as the money he spent on holidays and other luxuries, was stolen from investors in his pyramid scheme.
Even though his 29 victims included relatives, Maleka refused to express remorse, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) said on Tuesday.
Maleka pleaded guilty to theft in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Johannesburg and was jailed for 15 years. He asked the SCA to give him the go-ahead to appeal against his sentence, but Judge Boissie Mbha declined and called Maleka “a pathetic and dishonest liar”.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Maleka, now 26, launched Titus Industries in 2011 after graduating with a bachelor of business administration degree from Milpark Business School.
Under “activities and societies” he was involved in at Milpark, Maleka lists “humanitarianism”.
But according to Mbha he had nothing but greed on his mind when he opened an office in Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton, and began soliciting investments which eventually totalled R1.9m.
Agreeing with the magistrate who sentenced him that Maleka “a very, very dishonest person”, Mbha said he made various promises to repay the money he stole, all of which came to naught.
“On one occasion his attorney informed the court that [he] told her he had deposited R1m into her trust account, but when she went to check with her bank she discovered this was not true.
“On another occasion, [Maleka] deposited a cheque for R322,000 into her trust account which was later dishonoured.”
Mbha said Maleka, from Ridgeway, committed the offences over a protracted period, did not think about stopping his criminal conduct and failed to show genuine remorse.
Some of his victims were vulnerable and elderly, and “to make matters worse, some ... were related to him. What aggravates the matter is that the offences, premeditated as they were, were actuated by greed, and the illicit gains were used to buy a luxurious Jaguar, other unspecified luxurious items, and were spent on trips.”