If you’re a fraudster looking to dispossess people of their money, it makes sense for you to carefully sidestep any legal form that puts you under the purview of an effective regulator. For instance, you would want to avoid anything that would make you subject to an investigation by the Reserve Bank or the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). Both have legal powers to obtain documents and deliver punitive fines. The SA Revenue Service, at least in its better days, is also best avoided by paying the right tax. Certain other specialist regulators, such as those for medical aid schemes or communications, can come down hard on those transgressing the rules for those narrow areas of activity. That, however, leaves a large space for you to operate with less vigilant oversight. A space in which the only barrier is the law and therefore the police and prosecutions service. Except, that is, for the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), as it is now demonstrating in the...

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