MPUMALANGA – Lucy Andrea Du Preez (50), John Avent (53), Piet Albertus Meintjies (36), and Maria Antoinette Le Roux (49) were arrested by members of the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit on Thursday and subsequently appeared at the Nelspruit Magistrate Court for alleged fraud and theft.

The quartet’s arrest follows a Hawks’ investigation which linked Carol Ann Avent (46), who was employed as a bookkeeper at a Nelspruit based Close Corporation to fictitious transactions between the period 2010 to 2016, where her family members – the accused in this case – unduly benefited R11.5 million

Carol Avent was arrested in 2016 and charged on 1150 counts of fraud, she was subsequently released on a R5000 bail. She allegedly diverted the stolen funds to her family members bank accounts. Avent is yet to be sentenced after she was found guilty as charged in December 2018.

Meanwhile, the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court granted the four accused R3000 bail each, whilst Carol Avent is expected to appear at the Nelspruit Regional Court on the 5th of November 2019, where she will be joined by her four co-accused.