Steinhoff Saga - South Africans Face Fraud Charges in Germany

Furniture giant Steinhoff misrepresented its balance sheets to shareholders for a number of years. Three years and three months after Steinhoff auditor Deloitte refused to sign off on the company's accounts, triggering the resignation of the CEO Markus Jooste and the implosion of the company's share price, German authorities have reportedly indicted four people on charges of balance sheet manipulation. German publication, Manager Magazin, has reported that German prosecutors have completed their criminal investigation into balance sheet manipulation at Steinhoff, which has a primary listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Sasha Planting writes for Daily Maverick, that authorities have refused to identify who exactly has been indicted. However, speculation is that former CEO Markus Jooste, two other Steinhoff insiders and one "outsider" will be charged. Jooste was also slapped with a hefty fine for insider trading when he warned a friend a day before the Steinhoff saga was exposed, to sell his shares. The South African government convened several inquiries into Steinhoff and the biggest corruption case in the country's history. As yet, no court case has been heard. Many pension fund managers had invested in the firm, losing their members' pensions. 


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