Convicted tax fraudster, 68-year-old Thomas Fortuin has been sentenced to three years direct imprisonment by the Cape Town Regional Court.

His son businessman Tom-Ross Fortuin and bookkeeper Carlo Carolissen were each sentenced to 18 months under house arrest and were given suspended sentences.

The trio were found guilty on 400 charges of fraud, forgery, uttering and failure to submit tax returns since 2005. The men had entered into a plea and sentencing agreement with the State.

The National Prosecuting Authority has welcomed the sentences. NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila says such is a serious crime in South Africa.

“White collar crime is a serious crime in South Africa especially where the accused is involved in evading or soliciting funds from SARS.  The money they have taken from SARS is money which would have been used for education, building up schools, building up clinics and houses; so they disadvantage a lot of other people, the poor and children but also worse, these are business people who were supposed to know better”.