Stephanus Johannes Van Eeden (62) convicted of 71 counts of theft after pleading guilty, has been sentenced to 15 years direct imprisonment by the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
National Prosecuting Authority Spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana says Van Eeden committed these offences over a period of 13 years, from 2021 by using the same method of stealing from his victims. He was arrested and released on bail in October 2017 after one of the complaints opened a case at Brooklyn police station. Thereafter, a number of dockets were opened for the same type of offence all over the country, the NPA took a decision to consolidate all the dockets and centralise them in one court. Van Eeden has been in custody since.
Van Eeden operated different investment schemes and persuaded people to invest in them as though there legitimate businesses. Two of his investment where he stole over R8 millions from 36 complaints was bitcoin and Med Consult Group (MCG).
Van Zyl says in 2017, when Van Eeden was applying for bail, he cited extreme health problems as a mitigating factor, However, after being granted bail with a condition of not committing crime again, Van Zyl says Eeden committed the exact same crime four days later and continued until his arrest in 2022.He asked for lesser sentence due to ill – health cannot be used as a licence to commit crime.