Former Lotus man in court
ACCUSED of overcharging for his voice-over services and falsifying invoices, former Lotus FM presenter Vikash Mathura, pictured, appeared in a Johannesburg court on Monday.
The 43 year old faces charges of fraud and, alternatively, theft. He has been out on R5 000 bail that was granted in May. He is accused of billing Ellerines Furnishers an amount of R887 467.20 to his personal company, a charge that he denies.
It is alleged that in 2009, Mathura was deputy managing executive of the Beares brand, which is now liquidated, and was promoted in 2010 to group marketing executive with the responsibilities of the brand’s group marketing service and the respective budget.
Mathura was dismissed by the company in July 2012 and is defending the claim at the Johannesburg Commercial Court.
The State claims Mathura declared to Ellerines Furnishers that he was a freelance radio announcer, and offered voice-over services to the plaintiff and asked to be invoiced through his company, Shasim Entertainment Enterprises (SEE).
According to Matthew Wilcock, the plaintiff who was cross-examined on Monday, Mathura overcharged the company for his services and allegedly falsified invoices.
Ellerines then requested invoices from him and was suspicious when he refused.
He then contacted the SABC for invoices and only realised after comparing the invoices that he had been issued by Mathura, to the ones from the SABC that Mathura was overcharging them.
Advocate JG Dobie, acting for Ellerines, had earlier alleged that Mathura had overcharged for the advertisements, which were flighted on Lotus FM.
“On April 1, 2011, the defendant (Mathura) declared that he would provide voice-over services to the plaintiff. He stated he had received beneficial advertising and sponsorship rates from Lotus FM, that he would pass these benefits on to Ellerines, that such work would be invoiced through SEE and that none of such commissioned work would be for his personal gain,” he said in court papers.
He added that in October 2010 Mathura had profited secretly by entering into an agreement with the SABC on behalf of Ellerines. The defendant used his own postal address as the billing address.
The trial was postponed to next month.