How a ‘fake’ lawyer allegedly conned Absa of R17-million

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A probe into a lawyer who was not a lawyer faces the daunting task of bringing a mountain of evidence to Mohamed. It cannot bring Mohamed to the mountain because the alleged fraudster has vanished.

Evidence against the man known by three names (Patel Muhamed, Mohamed Ismail and Muhamed Ismail Patel) shows he allegedly defrauded Absa of about R17-million, faked his legal qualification, and is said to have bribed staff at the office of the Master of the High Court to steal files.

Patel, who is thought to be overseas, lost his robes last year after falling foul of the Cape Law Society when it found out he had lied about having a BProc qualification.

Now the Cape Town High Court has granted liquidators of two insolvent companies, Natserve and Pluscor – which own 28 sectional units in what used to be the Hawthorndene Hotel in George – an order to hold a public inquiry into the companies’ affairs.

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