Liquidators in court bid to recoup R39m from former COO
Former Bosasa COO and star witness at the state capture commission Angelo Agrizzi has been slapped with a R100-million lawsuit by Bosasa liquidators over monies he allegedly siphoned from various accounts of Bosasa and its subsidiaries.
The liquidators, who were appointed by African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa, and its subsidiaries have led papers at the Joburg High Court arguing that Agrizzi and the deceased CEO Gavin Watson had unlawfully and fraudulently siphoned off millions of rand in Bosasa revenue.
The liquidators said the monies were misappropriated and siphoned using conduits vehicles – among them entities such as Aruziwe, Spilacraft , Miotto, and Sinkroprop, and Consilium Business Consultants – all of which are owned and controlled by Agrizzi. The liquidators said Watson and Agrizzi concealed the funnelling of the Bosasa funds and the illegal payments that were made for their benefit.
The liquidators said these companies were also used to commit fraud, money-laundering, bribery and corruption. The papers show that the companies received millions from Bosasa and some of its subsidiaries, including Black Rox Security Intelligent Services, Leading Prospect, Bosasa Properties, GTS and BYDC.
According to the liquidators, Watson, Agrizzi and Bosasa CFO Andries van Tonder issued Bosasa and its subsidiaries fraudulent invoices claiming that the conduit companies have provided services to Bosasa to justify the payments.
However, the liquidators said they had discovered the three companies used as fronts were not operational. The papers also show that the companies have never provided any service to Bosasa nor any of its subsidiaries.
According to the court papers, Consilium Business Consultants received R96-million in fraudulent payments from Bosasa in the period between January 11 2017 and June 18 2019.
The subject conduits existed to conceal money laundering
The same company account also received R4.8-million in illicit payments from another Bosasa subsidiary, BYDC, during the same period. Another conduit company used to siphon money from Bosasa, according to the papers, was Miotto. That company received R2.6-million in payments from Bosasa Operations between March 11 2016 and September 25 2018.
Leading Prospect also received R6.4-million from another conduit company, Consilium. Sinkroprop received R10.8-million from Bosasa in the period between January 8 2008 and March 9 2012. The company also received about R4.6-million from Leading Prospect and Black Rox.
Spilacraft received R4-million from Bosasa, Aruziwe and Leading Prospect. The fourth conduit company, Aruziwe, received R5.4-million from Bosasa and another R1.1-million from GTS , the papers show. The liquidators said Agrizzi was the beneficiary of the entire fraudulent scheme and he approved and authorised the payments made by Bosasa to all these conduit companies.
“Whilst in the knowledge of Agrizzi, the subject conduits existed for no other reason except to conceal and enable the perpetration of fraud, money-laundering, corruption and racketeering and to make illicit payments to and for the benefit of interlia Agrizzi, and the conduit invoices were false, fraudulent and did not represent lawfully owing payments obligations due by Bosasa to the subject conduits,” read the court papers.
The court papers further show that Agrizzi personally bene tted from Consilium to the tune of R29-million, and he also benefitted at least R1-million from Miotto, two of the conduit companies owned by him.
Agrizzial so received R2.9-million from Sinkroprop, another conduit company he controls. He further personally benefitted an amount of R3-million and R2.8-million from Spilacrft and Aruziwe respectively.
The liquidators are demanding that Agrizzi pay back a whopping R39-million, which was paid to the four conduit companies.
They have also asked the court to issue an order for Agrizzi to be personally liable for the debts and liabilities of Bosasa Operations, Leading Prospect, BYDC, Black Rox, Bosasa Properties and GTS, arguing that Agrizzi carried the business of Bosasa recklessly and tried to defraud the creditors of Bosasa.
Agrizzi could not be reached for comment and did not respond to text messages at the time of going to print.