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Kuils River attorney on trial over trust funds

by Staff Reporter
on 02 Oct 2007
The Bellville Website
The Bellville Website

An attorney from Kuils River was charged with theft of his clients trust funds in the Bellville Commercial Court yesterday. The amount of money involved in the case exceeds R1.1million.

Lodewyk Christoffel Byleveld appeared before magistrate Amrith Chabilall, but was not asked to plead. According to the charge sheet, he worked as an attorney for a period of 11 years from a practice in Kuils River. The Law Society discovered discrepancies in his trust account and forced him to stop his practice.

Attorneys normally maintain two separate banking accounts - a business account for running the business and a trust account for collecting monies on behalf of clients. Attorneys may not make personal use of the funds in the trust account.

According to the charge sheet, the money in the business and trust accounts should always balance and should never show any shortfalls. Byleveld's shortfall exceeded R1.1 million.

Byleveld received a warning and the case is to resume on 30 October 2007. It is expected that the trial will commence with plea-bargain proceedings.

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