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Thread: REPORTING WHITE COLLAR CRIME TO POLICE

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    REPORTING WHITE COLLAR CRIME TO POLICE

    I was most interested to read the article, by Basil Carlston, referred to in one of "Laywer Destroyer"'s articles regarding the requirements to report fraud related crimes.
    So...armed with a printed version of the "Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004", I went off to the Hillcrest (KwaZulu Natal) Poice Station and got ushered into the Captain's office to report a crime of theft/fraud that I am aware of. When I mentioned to the Captain that I had a current civil case against the alledged perpetrator, he informed me that a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice, i.e. both civil and criminal and because I had already opened a civil case against the fraudster, I would be permitted to lay a criminal charge.

    Is this so? I have already been under the impression that both civil and criminal charges can be brought against someone for the same act - am I wrong?

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    Sorry, that should read........"When I mentioned to the Captain that I had a current civil case against the alledged perpetrator, he informed me that a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice, i.e. both civil and criminal and because I had already opened a civil case against the fraudster, I would NOT be permitted to lay a criminal charge."

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    doesn't sound right to me, but then I'm no expert.

    I do recall a few years back, a lawyer 'friend' told me, that if, for example, you ever have a problem with a neighbour and the cops come knocking on your door, just tell them that there is a civil case open between you and the complainant, and they usually just walk away. Never had to test this yet, though.
    Watching the ships passing by.

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    crimminal case you dont pay...the justice system takes care of the bill....if found guilty...you would have a better civil case against the person.

    civil case...you pay...but normally it would be to claim something in return.
    Last edited by murdock; 27-Sep-11 at 06:44 PM. Reason: negative response

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    And of course the criminal case doesn't award damages to the victims, just a sentence (jail time, fine etc.) for the perpetrator.

    My experience is the local neighbourhood police are incredibly reluctant to tackle cases of white collar crime - period.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Thanks for all your responses. However, I still need to know if someone can be charged both criminally and civilly for the same offence?
    Dave A, I agree with the fact that the local police are very reluctant to tackle cases of white collar crime - do I just persist or is there any other avenue I could follow?

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    I have never heard that someone cannot be charged criminally and civilly for the same offence. Just keep in mind that not all offences are both criminal and civil issues. Many are only one or the other.

    The big question is really why you would want to do both. Usually in a civil case you want to get refunded lost money. If the criminal case succeeds and a jail sentence results, in many instances that means the accused will be unable to repay the debt, which renders the civil action a waste of time and money. However the laying of criminal charges is often used a wake up call against the accused by showing how "serious" the complainant is. This I suspect is why the police are reluctant to get involved as they are often just used as debt collectors, and the charges are dropped once the money is repaid. They have then wasted their time on this matter.

    Not sure why you were shown to a Captain's office. That is quite a senior position for someone to be simply opening a docket. Reading between the lines I think that there may be more to this story.

    The other reason why the police may appear to be reluctant to investigate "white collar" cases, is the poor quality of evidence in many cases. If you have good quality, logical evidence against the accused, then present the documents and make a sworn statement about what happened when opening your case in the local CSC (charge office). The police collate and investigate and then send the docket to the public prosecutor who decides whether to prosecute or not.

    Once you have your case number, find out the name of the investigating detective. Once a week or so, phone him and politely ask after his progress on the case and if there is anything else you can do to assist or if he needs any more information from you. Be persistant, but very patient. A criminal case could easily take a few years to resolve.

    Also understand that you will be required to make yourself available over several days (many postponements) to testify in court. Make sure you are really and truely up to the effort involved in laying a criminal case against someone.

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    Thank you BusFact for a very comprehensive response. The reason I was sent to the Captain was because the officers in the charge office did not know what to do. The reason I want to lay criminal charges is because the person concerned has done the same thing on 3 other occasions and has got away with it every time. I do not want him to do the same thing again to someone else and this is why I need something to be done once and for all. I do not care if I do not get my money - I am more concerned about him answering for his actions. This is certainly not to scare him - we need closure and want to hand this over to the justice system. Is it worth the effort? - for 7 years so many of us have been led a merry dance by him and so, believe me when I say, it will be well worth the effort. I shall take your advice and be persistent and very patient!! Thank you.

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    Reporting a crime under Sec 34 of the PCCA Act

    Kari,
    Wrong. One of the requirements of escalation of a commercial crime to priority is that civil litigation must have commenced against the perpetrator/s (this demonstrates serious commitment and non withdrawal (messing the police around) - now read this carefully.

    Yes you run civil and criminal together in the event of a fraud or White collar crime - in fact it is necessary - and the Captain may have misunderstood your intentions (...).

    1. Draft up a formal affidavit with evidence and attachments in legal format. (Properly). Quote the whole of Section 34 of the PCCA Act and consequences for not reporting.....

    2. Draw up a formal receipt from the SAPS to you (do all the work for them - everything) for the Report under Sec 34 of the PCCA Act (stating that it is a comprehensive affidavit detailing a crime in excess of R100,000.00 and being reported to whom at which police station at what time on what date - and have a place for the station stamp - include number of pages).

    Take this to the police station and lodge it with the police and ask for the receipt.....

    Then - send by registered mail a copy of the file/affidavit, a copy of the receipt and a short covering letter to the regional SAPS Head Office Commander requesting confirmation of receipt of your request and report.

    Print this off and take it with you if needed.

    It is an offence for the senior officer not to accept, file, receipt and investigate a report made under Sec 34 of the PCCA - as in failing to do so he may be a part of the crime and covering it up which is why this Act exists - by necessity.

    If he still fails to accept the report - pm me and I will send you to a reputable criminal lawyer in your area.

    read this carefully, specifically Sec 34 which you will need to framework as the introduction pages on your submission :- IE According to Sec 34 of ....xxxxx I understand that....(cont with sec 34).

    http://www.info.gov.za/gazette/acts/2004/a12-04.pdf

    Duty to report corrupt transactions34. (1) Any person who holds a position of authority and who knows or ought
    reasonably to have known or suspected that any other person has committed- 25
    (a) an offence under Part 1, 2,3 or 4, or section 20 or 21 (in so far as it relates to
    (6) the offence of theft, fraud, extortion, forgery or uttering a forged document,
    involving an amount of RlOO 000 or more, must report such knowledge or suspicion or
    cause such knowledge or suspicion to be reported to any police official. 30
    (2) Subject to the provisions of section 37(2), any person who fails to comply with
    subsection (l), is guilty of an offence.
    (3) (a) Upon receipt of a report referred to in subsection (l), the police official
    concerned must take down the report in the manner directed by the National
    Commissioner, and forthwith provide the person who made the report with an 35
    ackno'wledgment of receipt of such report.
    (b) 'The National Commissioner must within three months of the commencement of
    this Act publish the directions contemplated in paragraph (a) in the Gazerre.
    (c) ,4ny direction issued under paragraph (b), must be tabled in Parliament before
    Gazette. 40
    (4) For purposes of subsection (1) the following persons hold a position of authority,
    namely-
    ( a ) the Director-General or head, or equivalent officer, of a national or provincial
    department:
    ( b ) in the case of a municipality, the municipal manager appointed in terms of 45
    section 82 of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (ANcot.
    117 of 1998);
    the aforementioned offences) of Chapter 2; or
    (c) any public officer in the Senior Management Service of a public body;
    (d') any head, rector or principal of a tertiary institution;
    (e) the manager, secretary or a director of a company as defined in the Companies SO
    52 No. 2631 1 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE. 2S .APRII. 2OlJ-J
    Act No. 12,2004 PREVENTION AND COMBATING OF CORRUPT
    ACTIVITIES ACT. 2004
    Act, 1973 (Act No. 61 of 1973), and includes a member of a close corporation
    as defined in the Close Corporations Act, 1984 (Act No. 69 of 1981):
    the executive manager of any bank or other financial institution:
    any partner in a partnership;
    any person who has been appointed asc hief executive officer or an equivalent 5
    officer of any agency, authority, board, commission, committee, corporation.
    council, department, entity, financial institution, foundation. fund, institute.
    service, or any other institution or organisation, whether established b)
    legislation, contract or any other legal means;
    any other person who is responsible fotrh e overall management and control of 10
    the business of an employer; or
    any person contemplated in paragraphs (a) to (i), who has been appointed in
    an acting or temporary capacity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    Thank you BusFact for a very comprehensive response. The reason I was sent to the Captain was because the officers in the charge office did not know what to do. The reason I want to lay criminal charges is because the person concerned has done the same thing on 3 other occasions and has got away with it every time. I do not want him to do the same thing again to someone else and this is why I need something to be done once and for all. I do not care if I do not get my money - I am more concerned about him answering for his actions. This is certainly not to scare him - we need closure and want to hand this over to the justice system. Is it worth the effort? - for 7 years so many of us have been led a merry dance by him and so, believe me when I say, it will be well worth the effort. I shall take your advice and be persistent and very patient!! Thank you.
    Last edited by Lawyer Destroyer; 30-Sep-11 at 01:52 AM. Reason: sp

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    So if the court ruled that Shaik paid Zuma more than R100,000.oo we as the public can all go to our local police station and lay a charge?
    Can you imagine?
    "Nobody who has succeeded has not failed along the way"
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