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The investment company Coin-It Trading made national headlines in 2020 when the Assets Forfeiture Unit (AFU) swooped down on the Dundee-based business, liquidating the firm’s properties and assets worth R106 million.
The AFU closed in on the company during the latter part of 2020, after it was liquated earlier the same year by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Coin-It came under scrutiny after investors raised concerns about the company. According to allegations, the company offered clients the investment opportunity of a lifetime—one which would see returns of 200% on the investment in just three years.
These investments involved clients paying a once-off deposit for equipment, whereafter they were then promised they would be paid monthly profits for using the said equipment.
Natasha Kara, the National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, said the seizure was made possible after the unit obtained a preservation order in the Prevention of Organised Crime Act No. 21 of 1998, in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
The seized assets belonging to the company included eight properties in the Dundee, Colenso and Hattingspruit areas and five aircraft and vehicles. According to Kara, these assets would be held under curatorship pending the outcome of a forfeiture application.
It was also discovered that a company linked to the director of Coin – It, Malcolm De Beer, owned the property which Raphah operates from. At the time, this left Pastor Gerd and Sonja Luus of Raphah Ministries with great uncertainty while the court case went on.
Now, well over a year later, what is happening with the case?
With the court case recently resuming in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, it was noted that there were two applications before it.
“The first application is for condonation for the late filling of the notice of leave to appeal and the second application is for leave to appeal the judgement and order of this court, handed down on 20 May 2021,” the court transcripts highlight.
In simple English, Coin-It’s director Malcolm Henry de Beer lost a bid to appeal against the court order, which authorised the disposal of Coin-It’s assets for the benefit of investors.
Moreover, the High Court also dismissed an application for the court to condone the late filing of the appeal application, thereby giving the liquidators of the pyramid scheme the necessary go-ahead to proceed with the sale of certain assets.
During the recent court case, it was highlighted that one of the main reasons the court dismissed de Beer’s application for the court to condone the late filing of the appeal application was that he failed to provide a proper explanation for the delay and has no prospect of success on appeal.
This means that the original forfeiture order, which granted the liquidators the authority to dispose of these assets, will come into immediate effect.
Other than the properties, vehicles, and a light aircraft, the liquidators have also earmarked the shares in four companies that will now be disposed of to pay back the necessary creditors and investors in Coin-It.
The liquidators allegedly found amounts of R548 million and R7,15 million paid to the said companies. These payments were apparently made using Coin-It funds.
A further amount of R21,8 million was also paid to Bright Future Trading Enterprises CC, also with Coin-It funds.
Liquidators expect to finalise the disposal of some of the assets within the next 12 months, after which investors can be paid out from the monies recovered once the insolvency process has been completed with the Master of the High Court.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Were you or anyone you know caught out with the Coin-It scheme?
Share your views in the comment section below.