leader, Gillian was given the name of a senior officer at the police station who advised her to get the whole group of investors together to lay a charge under one case number.
He told her that the larger the sum defrauded, the more likely it would be viewed as a fraud case and investigated at a higher level.
Gillian heard nothing for about 18 months. Then, out of the blue, she received a call from an advocate who told her the man had been prosecuted and had reached a settlement.
The agreement was that, if the complainants were willing to accept the terms, they would each receive R100 000, followed by monthly amounts until the debts were repaid. If the payments failed at any stage, the offender would be sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. So far he has kept to his agreement. “What a journey this was. My message to anyone who is scammed is: Do not just give up, report the matter, justice may take its time, but it does work.”
Gillian has been extraordinarily lucky – partly owing to her tenacity. Very few victims ever follow through or ever see their money again.