ROB ROSE: Be careful who you trust with your money
With R168m having seemingly vanished into the business of one financial adviser, we need to re-examine how we dole out trust
If it seems that there’s been a spate of investment scams doing the rounds, it’s probably not a coincidence. A few weeks ago it was the revelation that Martin Levick, the former CEO of Genesis Capital, allegedly duped friends as well as savvy businessmen — including Brait founder Antony Ball — out of more than R700m.
This week, it was the turn of Thomas Stringfellow, a silver-tongued 49-year-old who worked as a financial adviser at FNB until 2005, when he left to set up his Stringfellow Group. While Stringfellow ran two unit trust funds (in which R130m was invested), he also, on the side, enticed investors to "lend" money to finance the SA franchise of Australian sportswear brand Lorna Jane, run by him and his wife.