Home Accountant Hawks arrest accountant for UIF TERS fraud of nearly R 900,000

Hawks arrest accountant for UIF TERS fraud of nearly R 900,000

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The Hawks arrested an accountant for fraud, theft and money laundering.

  • The Hawks arrested an accountant for fraud, theft and money laundering.
  • Mark Vorster was released on R10,000 bail by East London Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
  • The case has been postponed until July 29, 2021 in the Pretoria Commercial Crime Court.

An accountant has been arrested for fraud, theft and money laundering related to the government’s Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Employer-Employee Temporary Assistance (TERS) scheme, according to the Hawks.

Mark Vorster was released on R10,000 bail by East London Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday following allegations he made fraudulent claims for his company and others worth over 884,000 rand.

READ | Nxesi launches UIF TERS lifeline to help sectors restricted by blockages

Vorster is due to appear before the specialized criminal court in Pretoria next Thursday. A statement from the Hawks said a team from Pretoria investigated and executed Vorster’s arrest, seizing a laptop and cell phone as part of an ongoing investigation.

“These discrepancies were discovered by the head of the bank who also managed to recover half of the money from the defendant’s bank account,” the statement said.

After months of speculation and behind-the-scenes discussion, the UIF accepted TERS requests starting Monday and will be making payments again starting July 25.

Employment and Labor Minister Thulas Nxesi recently released his directive for the new payment of UIF TERS payment benefits to contributing employees in sectors that have been restricted by the level 4 lockdown.

The return of the UIF TERS came with concerns of fraudulent behavior in the claims process. The government has indicated its desire to pay benefits directly to employees instead of paying through employers, in order to bypass “unscrupulous employers”.

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