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Steinhoff executives responsible for fraud have been named

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Steinhoff executives responsible for fraud have been named

Parliament has instructed global giant Steinhoff to publicise the names of the former executives who have been identified in fraudulent acts.

The names of the former Steinhoff executives who were found to have inflated the company’s profit by auditing firm PwC were initially kept confidential in the company’s report.

However, on Tuesday, 19 March 2019, members of parliament (MPs) instructed the South African-based global company to publicise the names of the implicated former executives.

The report, compiled by PwC, was initially due at the end of November 2018, but was delayed and only released on Friday, 15 March 2019.

In the report, the names of the former executives are not published, but during a sitting before three parliamentary committees on Tuesday, the current Steinhoff executives named the former executives.

The current CEO, Louis du Preez, told parliament that the names included former CEO Markus Jooste, Dirk Schreiber, Ben la Grange and Stehan Grobler.

The PwC report runs 3 000 pages long – 14 000 with added addenda and documentation. The report laid blame for the alleged fraud on the small group of executives.

The report found that the executives had allegedly dishonestly inflated the company’s profit and asset values over several years.

Earlier this month, the newly appointed director for investigations and enforcement at the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), Brandon Topham, said that “the next two months will be interesting” in terms of the regulator’s investigations into Steinhoff.

“Steinhoff [itself] published a SENS stating that its financial statements were wrong,” Topham pointed out. “So, they have consented to the fact that they have published false and misleading information. Even though nobody at this stage has been charged, there is definitely a case to be made.”

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