‘You can earn R150k a month,’ name-dropping ‘con’ allegedly tells friends
A Cape woman is up against it after ‘conning’ people into investing with her, using Johann Rupert’s name as bait
Business tycoon Johann Rupert’s name has been dragged into a giant meat business swindle.
Cape Town’s Sandra Robinson is facing 50 charges of fraud for allegedly duping friends and acquaintances into investing in fictitious businesses. To spice up the deal, Robinson allegedly bandied around Rupert’s name.
Robinson, 48, is on trial in the Bellville specialised commercial crime court.
She allegedly committed the crimes between 2009 and 2015, when she was arrested after failing to pay the unrealistic returns she had promised the victims. According to the charge sheet, Robinson allegedly “enticed” friends and acquaintances into parting with more than R9m, which she said would be invested into a gift shop and lucrative meat business. She said she bought the meat in Namibia and would sell it to old-age homes and reputable supermarkets. In some instances, she promised the victims 50% of the profits from an imaginary meat business she called Nulogix.
“[Robinson said] Nulogix makes a turnover of about R38m per month, Spar owed her an amount of R38m, her family trust is worth R30m [and] a known businessman in South Africa, Johann Rupert, will pay the complainant’s taxes,” the charge sheet reads. She allegedly repeated the lie several times and won over more than 20 victims.
Robinson allegedly promised one of the victims they would “earn a monthly salary of R150,000 which never took place”, the charge sheet reads. “She wanted only cash payments to be made by the complainant towards the meat business and not (a) transfer of funds ... She told the complainant that her family trust pays her an amount of R180,000 on 28 February per year. She told the complainant that she is diagnosed with cancer, which was not true, when the complainant enquired about the money due to him from the meat business.”
In a statement, the prosecution said instead of asking the investors to deposit the money into a business account, Robinson gave them her personal banking details.
“Her modus operandi was that she would approach friends and general members of the public and invite the complainants into fictitious business ventures. She would misrepresent that she was the owner and director of a gift shop and a meat business under the name Nulogix,” the statement reads.
“She would misrepresent that, in particular, the meat business was quite lucrative, with a turnover of about R38m per month. She told the complainants that the business was running right through Namibia and named well-known persons such as Mr Johann Rupert as associates to her business.
“She made the complainants believe she was supplying meat to businesses such as Pick n Pay, Spar, old-age homes and school hostels. She would then entice the complainants to invest into her ‘so-called’ business, by giving her huge amounts of loans and promising them very high interest in returns within one month. To some people she also promised 50% partnership in her business. She thus induced the complainants to transfer funds into her personal bank account, citing emergency need of the funds as the reason not to use her business account.
“(Robinson) failed to meet with her (deadlines) for payment of the complainants’ monies. She furnished them with all sorts of stories for her default. The complainants suffered millions of rand as a result of the accused’s actions.”
Robinson has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Rupert said: “(I am) aware of the case. No comment.”
NPA Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said: “The trial of Sandra Robinson is proceeding. The only delays we have experienced last year were related to Covid-19 challenges. The state continues with its case and there are many complainants. The trial will resume on 19, 20 and 21 October 2021.”