Ex-Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste slapped with R475 million fine

 ·20 Mar 2024

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has fined Markus Jooste R475 million as part of its investigations into his work as the former CEO of Steinhoff International.

As reported by Daily Investor, FSCA Commissioner Unathi Kamlana said that Jooste would be penalized for publishing fraudulent statements about Steinhoff International – which was listed on the JSE and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

On 19 March 2024, the FSCA found that Jooste and former Steinhoff CFO Dirk Schreiber contravened section 81(1)(a) and (b) of the Financial Markets Act.

Kamlana said that Jooste and Schreiber failed to deliver valuable information to investors, which concealed Steinhoff’s true financial position.

“False operating profits were disguised as receivable which were, in fact, not recoverable,” the FSCA said.

“The false irrecoverable assets, reflected as cash and cash equivalents in the financial results, meant that the corresponding equity of Steinhoff International was overstated.”

Kamlana added that investors based their assessments of Steinhoff’s financial prospects on this fraudulent information, resulting in losses for investors and pension funds.

As part of his R475 million fine, Jooste must also pay R10 million in investigative costs payable in 30 days from 19 March 2024.

In arriving at this substantial amount, the FSCA considered the to deter similar behaviour in the market, the losses experienced by the market, Jooste’s level of cooperation during the investigation, the commercial benefit to Jooste and more.

The FSCA also said that it will open a case with the Hawks in regard to the matter.

Read: R37 million payout for South Africa’s richest man

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