Creditors seeking 'missing' Bobroff millions
Publish date: 12 March 2018
Issue Number: 765
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The hunt is on to track down the 'missing' Bobroff millions – the funds it’s claimed disgraced Gauteng former personal injury attorneys Ronald and Darren Bobroff secreted before they fled SA for Australia, notes Legalbrief. The issue is the subject of a continuing investigation by award-winning journalist Tony Beamish, whose doggedness in reports run on the Moneyweb site led to the exposure of the Bobroffs and their removal from the roll of attorneys in SA. As they await judgment regarding whether their personal estates should be finally sequestrated – the case was argued in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) before Judge Edwin Molahlehi – the Bobroffs continue to deny that either they or their firm, Ronald Bobroff & Partners Incorporated (RBP), owe R3m to Christine Maree, a 79-year-old Pretoria widow, who was the victim of medical negligence, and Yasmin Motara, a 32-year-old Springs teacher, the innocent party in a catastrophic and life-changing motor vehicle accident. Maree and Motara are the applicants in the sequestration application. In opposing their provisional sequestration, the Bobroffs paint a picture revealing few worthwhile assets in SA, but the Moneyweb report reveals examples of creditors requisitions that have come to light since the granting of the provisional sequestration order that tell a very different story (details in the report online).
Attorney Anthony Millar, who is acting for Maree and Motara, believes ‘justice will prevail’, says the Moneyweb report. Millar filed papers in support of the final sequestration order which pointed out that the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) had in July last year issued/obtained a preservation order in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, seizing R102m held in the names of the Bobroff pair by the Bank Mizrahi Tefahot in Israel. The Bobroffs opposed the evidence alleging that it was hearsay. Moneyweb says the court was surprised to receive a missive from Ronald Bobroff dated 1 March, making the following admissions: ‘Darren and I do not deny that we are the owners of the majority of funds (credit balances in two accounts in Israel) – a minor amount in the region of R1m is held for the benefit of a family member. The existence and the extent of the funds were never disclosed by the Darren and me in any other affidavit previously deposed to by us in these proceedings for the following reasons: (A) We were advised by our attorney (John Joseph Findlay) Cameron that we were under no obligation to do so for the reason that such information was not for the consumption of Maree and Motara and more specifically their attorney (being armed with no less than 11 other unlawfully procured judgments). (B) In the event that we had detailed same then we were in no doubt that Millar would have taken steps to have unlawfully obtained judgments recognised by a court in Israel under and in terms of its Foreign Judgments Enforcement Law – 1958, a copy which I attach.’ The report says the final sequestration judgment is expected on 23 March and notes Beamish is one of a number of individuals suing the Bobroffs for defamation.