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Former attorney is jailed, for defrauding clients out of R500k

Rugaya Van Der Schyff, 57, a former attorney and conveyancer, was apprehended yesterday in Cape Town by the Hawks on a warrant of arrest for charges of fraud and theft in excess of R500,000.

She was removed from the roll of attorneys in 2017 as a result of an interdict application that was submitted in 2016, and she was arrested on March 28, 2019, for allegedly stealing almost R4.8 million from a trust fund. The interdict application was submitted in 2016.

In relation to these charges of fraud, Van Der Schyff was granted release on bail in the amount of R20 000.

In addition to this, it is alleged that she has continued to facilitate offers to purchase a number of properties from the year 2019 up until the present, despite being fully aware of her exclusion from her professional practice as a result of a ruling handed down by the Western Cape High Court.

The impression that she was an attorney and conveyancer who was authorized to work in those capacities was not dispelled by these latest allegations. She allegedly spread false information throughout the community, which led to the deterioration of their financial situation. In her capacity as a professional, she failed to exercise the necessary level of care and diligence required when dealing with the Registrar of Deeds and the process of transferring properties.

As a result, she was responsible for the theft.

On Friday, October 21, 2022, Van der Schyff appeared before the Strand Magistrate Court. After her appearance, the court remanded the case so that a formal bail application can be made.

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