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How Spar executives tried to Steal 44 Chris & Harry Giannacopoulos-owned businesses

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SPAR executives caught in a fraud scandal in order to steal companies owned by Chris & Harry Giannacopoulos

It has been alleged that three executives at Spar executives committed fraud by making false statements and concealing relevant information in proceedings before two of the country’s High Courts, Daily Investor reports.

This allegation is included in the criminal complaints that a private prosecution is bringing against the SPAR executives in Gauteng for fraud and perjury. There will be additional complaints lodged in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

Private prosecution conducted by Afriforum is providing assistance to Chris and Harry Giannacopoulos, as well as the Giannacopoulos Group, which is comprised of businesses owned by the Giannacopoulos family.

It is alleged that executives working for the Group made false statements in affidavits in 2019, claiming that businesses affiliated with the Giannacopoulos Group owed money to Spar.

This was done in an effort to persuade the courts to hand control of the supermarkets owned by the companies to the Spar Group.

spar executives

When the Giannacopoulos Group successfully challenged the unlawful takeover bid, the same High Courts that allegedly confirmed the misrepresentations also ruled that the takeover bid was unlawful.

The managing director of the group, Desmond Borrageiro, and the chief executive, Brett Botten, are two of the parties who have been implicated in the financial matters that have filed affidavits in 2019.

Graham O’Conner, who serves as the chairperson of the Spar Group, signed the certificates of balance that were submitted in support of the summonses.

Some of the suspects have admitted to the alleged misrepresentations, which their legal team has attributed to ignorance. These admissions have been described as a “honest and unfortunate mistake” by the suspects.

According to Afriforum, additional executives will be implicated in the upcoming case that will be filed in KwaZulu-Natal.

READ MORE: Spar CEO Scandal: Brett Botten and Chair wanted to use BEE loans to save white-owned businesses

Giannacopoulos brothers’ owned companies targeted in fraud scandal scheme driven by Spar Group and its executives

In the legal documents that were submitted to the courts in 2019 in both Pretoria and Pietermaritzburg, the Giannacopoulos Group made the following allegations against the Spar Group.

  • The Giannacopoulos Group’s retailer membership was terminated without giving them a hearing, as had been promised by the Spar Group, but this information was not disclosed to the court as it should have been.
  • Misleading statements were made regarding development loans, giving the impression that the Giannacopoulos Group of companies was financially dependent on the Spar Group.

  • In the summonses that were served on companies that are a part of the Giannacopoulos Group, these allegedly false representations were repeated.

In 2019, Spar took the necessary steps to take control of the stores, acting in accordance with orders obtained from the courts and on the basis of the alleged misrepresentations.

Harry Giannacopoulos

The Giannacopoulos Group wasn’t able to regain control of the companies until after they had an emergency court application granted in their favor.

READ MORE: Investment fraud: Understanding the R200Bln Steinhoff-Jooste scandal

The criminal complaints that were submitted to the police in Pretoria on December 8th, 2022, use these events as the basis for their allegations. In the upcoming weeks, the complaints are also going to be submitted in Pietermaritzburg.

The 44 Spar stores owned by Giannacopoulos, collectively employ nearly 3,000 people

The Spar Group was contacted for comment; however, the company had not responded at the time this article was published.

Giannacopoulos group file papers

Documents filed in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg by the 44 Spar stores owned by Giannacopoulos, which collectively employ nearly 3,000 people, allege a coordinated campaign of attacks against them by the Spar Guild of Southern Africa (an association of Spar shop owners) and Spar Group Limited.

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