Two suspects Timothy Franciscus van der Steen (50) and Ryan Peter Osborne (36) appeared briefly in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate Court on Tuesday for alleged fraud following their arrest earlier in the morning.
It is alleged that during September 2013 and September 2017 van der Steen and Osborn were both Directors of a company called Tag Yacht SA which allegedly made misrepresentations to the complainants with the promise of building them yachts.
Van der Steen and Osborn would then take the money invested but never built the yachts. They did this knowingly of their financial business status of bankruptcy. It is also understood that various emails were allegedly sent to the complainants stating that the funds would be ring-fenced however the funds were never used for the purpose they were intended for.
The Hawks Commercial Crime Investigation has revealed that van der Steen and Osborne allegedly cost the complainants over R 27 million through fraudulent means. Further investigation revealed that van der Steen and Osborn’s business was actually a shell company and these two fraudsters were the only employees.
The two were granted bail of R2000-00 each with conditions and both accused are to hand over their passports. Their case was postponed to 02 November 2020 in the same court.