Steinhoff’s Jooste to go on trial in Germany next year for fraud

November 25, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja

Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste will go on trial in Germany next year on charges of accounting fraud.

Steinhoff trial to start in 2023

The Oldenberg regional court released a statement on Thursday saying that the trial is set to begin in 2023, although no date has been set yet.

Although the statement didn’t mention Jooste by name, it did refer to a “former CEO of Steinhoff international holdings, aged 61”.

Jooste, two former Steinhoff executives and an unnamed fourth accused, who was not a Steinhoff employee, were charged in 2021 with balance sheet fraud.

The case against two former Steinhoff executives, who worked in Germany, will start on 3 May.

The date for the start of the case against Jooste and the fourth accused has not yet been set.

This is the first time Jooste will go on trial for the Steinhoff saga.

The accounting scandal emerged in late 2017, after Jooste resigned amid an investigation into accounting irregularities. At the time, Steinhoff’s share price plunged by 90% in a week, wiping over R200 billion off the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

According to Bloomberg, transactions were allegedly used to manipulate Steinhoff’s balance sheets. The value of the company’s real estate assets was also allegedly inflated by 820 million euros. 

ALSO READ: ‘Steinheist’: ‘Devilsdorp’ producers tackle Steinhoff saga in new doccie

Jooste’s properties attached

In October, the Western Cape High Court granted the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) an order to attach all assets linked to Jooste.

Jooste’s wife Ingrid and his son Michael were also listed as respondents in the court documents, along with Gary Harlow and Rian du Plessis who are the trustees of Jooste family trust, Silveroak.

Lanzerac Estate Investments, the Registrar of Deeds in Cape Town and Petrus Albertus Venter were also listed as respondents.

The court authorised the Reserve Bank to attach the following from the Silveroak Trust:

  • Art with a realisable value of R98 781 614.
  • Other financial assets with a realisable value of R1.2 billion.
  • Loans receivable in the amount of R1.3 million.
  • Identify all the movable goods described in the Silveroak Trust – Attachment Notice, to photograph the said goods and to draw an inventory thereof.

Items that could be attached from Jooste’s property at 143 Tenth Street, Voelklip, Hermanus included:

  • A black Isuzu KB 300TDI 4×4 Double Cab pick-up valued at R81 200.
  • A white Mercedes-Benz SL600 valued at R81 200.
  • A green Land Rover Defender valued t R350 000.
  • Jewellery, paintings and firearms with a realisable value of R795 400.
  • All the movable goods of any nature which are present at the date of the attachment order on the Jooste-premises, excluding the clothing of those persons present or resident on the property and any foodstuffs and living essentials.

NOW READ: Reserve Bank attaches ex-Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste’s properties