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First VBS conviction as ex CFO Phillip Truter gets 7 years for fraud, corruption

Phillip Truter was arrested in June along with seven other accused, who are implicated in advocate Terry Motau’s Great Bank Heist report that showed almost R2 billion was stolen from the bank.

Former VBS Mutual Bank chief financial officer Phillip Truter appears in the Palm Ridge Commercial Court on 6 July 2020. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Former VBS bank chief financial officer Phillip Truter on Wednesday pleaded guilty to fraud, corruption, money laundering and racketeering charges for his involvement in the bank’s looting.

Truter appeared at the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday where he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, with three of those years suspended, meaning he will serve seven years in prison.

This conviction represents the first in the VBS matter.

“The former CEO just appeared before a magistrate the Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court. [The] court accepted the sentence and plea agreement. He has also agreed to testify against the other accused who will appear [on Thursday] at the same court at 9am,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Sipho Ngwema.

Truter was arrested in June along with seven other accused, who are implicated in advocate Terry Motau’s Great Bank Heist report that showed almost R2 billion was stolen from the bank over three years by executives and politicians. He negotiated with authorities about pleading guilty and assisting with further investigations into the bank’s robbery, deciding to cooperate with the State in its case.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the NPA said “law enforcement agencies always encourage either whistle-blowers or accused persons who want to come clean to make a full, frank, honest and open disclosure about their involvement and their ill-gotten gains”.

“Someone like Truter who decides to take responsibility for his actions will always be encouraged to talk to the state and such honesty is welcomed,” the statement read.

This conviction represents the first in the VBS matter.

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