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Interpol notices issued, extradition process begun

  • Bobroffs - HIOME
Bobroffs will face justice say determined Hawks. Ronald and Darren hide in Australia but Interpol and Hawks say they’ll be extradited to answer to fraud and money-laundering charges involving “hundreds of millions” and possible charges of theft of trust funds. They are being debarred and their firm has been placed under curatorship by the Law Society. They left 68-year-old bobba Elaine to carry the can. She’s on bail for fraud of R26m. One Jewish woman told the SAJR today that she had paid sixty per cent fees to the Bobroffs!
by ANT KATZ | Apr 04, 2016

ABOVE: Ronald and Elaine Bobroff in happier times


Ronald Bobroff, later with son and partner as Ronald Bobroff and Partners Inc (RBP), made his name as a crusader for justice for those injured in car accidents and by medical negligence – the classic do-gooder who was passionate about protecting peoples’ rights.

He and his son, Darren (and, to a lesser extent, their partner Stephen Bezuidenhout) vowed to take on "the crooked, corrupt and creepy" according to a story in yesterday’s Sunday Times.

Bobroff fallout logoBut now Ronald, Darren and Darren’s family are hiding out in Australia, on the run and hoping to escape fraud and money-laundering charges in involving hundreds of millions for overcharging their clients, as well as possible charges of missing trust funds.


RIGHT: Ronald, left, and Darren Bobroff - hawks looking for hundreds of millions

Two weeks ago, just prior to the long Easter Weekend, the Bobroffs had pled guilty to overcharging two clients and had agreed to hand themselves over to the police on the Tuesday after Easter. They didn’t.

Rather, Ronald, Darren, and Darren’s family had legged it to Australia and, Jewish Report understands, they had deposited monies in the bank account of Bobba Elaine, Ronald’s wife. She was left to carry the can, arrested and charged by the Hawks the 68-year-old Elaine last Tuesday found herself in the dock for fraud of R26 millon and for money laundering. She was given bail, told to report to police weekly and to return to court on 1 July.

Bobroff websiteThe men also sold their active client files to another attorney, 
Rael Zimmerman of Taitz and Skikne, Zimmerman last week told JR Online that he had only taken over the files of his staff was calling clients to see if they wanted him to finalise their cases.

He took over the premises and the staff but not the debts or obligations of the business and his practice in Germiston continues to operate as normal.

Meanwhile the Bobroffs are being been stripped of their rights to practice law and their firm has been placed under the curatorship of Johan van Staden by the Law Society of the Northern Provinces (LSNP).

All of the firm’s assets, accounts and trust funds are in the hands of Van Staden.

A two-year long Hawks investigation, which was drawing to a close last week, cannot be closed as more and more complainants are coming forward daily claiming to have been fleeced by the Bobroffs. While not prepared to put a figure to it until they have completed their investigation, the Hawks now believe that hundreds of millions are involved.

Jewish Report, too, is receiving calls from people who believe that they were duped by being overcharged. One Jewish lady told the writer today that she had paid sixty percent of her RAF payout to the Bobroffs!Bobroff - Ronald - FULL INDEPENDENT MEDIA

ABOVE: Ronald Bobroff in court




Last week, the Bobroffs’ criminal lawyer, Ulrich Roux (son of Oscar Pistorius Advocate Barry) of BDK attorneys refused to comment when asked to by Jewish Report Online.

Bobroff - UlrichWhile still refusing to speak to the media, however, Roux has confirmed that his firm has since withdrawn as the Bobroffs’ criminal lawyers.

An insider at the firm told the Sunday Times’ Monica Lamparsand that Roux had been red-faced upon reading in the press of his clients’ brazen dash to Australia, which had led to the firm dumping them.


RIGHT: BDK's Ulrich Roux reportedly dropped the Bobroffs like a hot potato when he heard they had done a runner


of Hawks spokesman Major Robert Netshiunda says: “we are still investigating but hundreds of millions of rand have been making the rounds in their bank accounts.”

More victims are coming in, he says, so the Hawks cannot give any numbers yet.

Bobroffs to face justice, say Hawks

Netshiunda told Jewish Report Online last Friday that Interpol had issued red notices for the Bobroffs and that extradition processes between Australia and South Africa had begun.

Among the most common charges against the Bobroffs is that they overcharged clients regularly. Road Accident Fund (RAF) victims usually elect to go the contingency fees (No-Win-No-Pay) route. This allows firms like RBP to charge “twice the normal attorney-client fees, or take 25 percent of the settlement, whichever is the lesser amount.” There are numerous cases where the Bobroff’s have been prosecuted for exceeding these charges.

The RAF’s spokesman, Linda Rulashe, said on the weekend that her organisation alone had already referred 18 matters to the police where RBP had claimed charges for services they apparently had never rendered. “Ongoing investigations may lead to other referrals,” she said.

The LSNP’s curator, Johan van Staden, says there was about R27 million in the trust funds which would be used to pay the client and debtors – although pundits do not believe this will be anywhere near enough to settle the debts.


The Act relating to contingency fees,
No-Win-No-Pay, is explicit: firms like
RBP “can charge twice the normal
attorney-client fees, or take 25%
of the settlement, whichever
of them is the LESSER amount

 

Follow the ten-year-old story

  • 20 February 2014: MONEYWEB - BOBROFF’S CONTINGENCY REGIME UNLAWFUL – Two years ago the Constitutional Court dealt a brutal blow to dodgy personal accident lawyers who have been fleecing thousands of clients over a fourteen-year period.
  • 13 March 2014 – MONEYWEB - LAW SOCIETY FAILS TO ACT on Bobroff’s ‘suspicious transaction’ after Darren Bobroff deposited an RAF (Road accident fund) cheque made out to his client into his (Bobroff’s) personal bank account. The Law Society of the Northern Provinces (LSNP) procrastinated for over two years on this enquiry which, said Moneyweb, “may well amount to a dereliction of duty on the part of the LSNP,” a body which Ronald Bobroff had once chaired. The first allegations about the cheque had surfaced in July 2009.
  • 9 February 2016: MONEYWEB - ANOTHER BOBROFF CONTINGENCY FEE AGREEMENT FOUND INVALID - Personal injury lawyers Ronald Bobroff & Partners Inc (RBP) received another blow last week when the Johannesburg High Court found again that the firm’s contingency fee agreement was unlawful and made a punitive costs order against it.
  • 20 February 2016 – IOL - AUDIT UNCOVERS LAWYERS’ MISDEEDS - LSNP inspectors found evidence that RBP committed a number of unlawful practices, including overcharging RAF victims. Sibusiso Gule, the vice-president of the LSNP came over four years after a couple first complained to the society that they were overcharged and follows a string of judgments against the pair, who are still practising.
  • 04 March - M&G - RAF CLAIMANTS HIT BACK AT DUBIOUS LAW FIRM - Well-known law firm, Ronald Bobroff and Partners (RBP), has been taking more than their fair share of fees from at least some of their clients. Ronald Bobroff is the president of the SA Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. For the past five years, the personal injury law firm would appear to have exemplified the stereotype of the “ambulance chaser”, battling it out in courts around Gauteng to defend why, for years, they had overcharged clients, contravening the Contingency Fees Act. This week, Bobroff and his son, admitted in the Johannesburg high court that a contingency fee agreement they got clients to sign was illegal. The Constitutional Court and high courts in Johannesburg and Pretoria stated that RBP had been duping clients out of their fair share of compensation. The matter originally started with former clients of RBP in 2006.
  • 19 March– IOL - PRESSURE MOUNTS ON INJURY LAWYER PAIR - The case against the Bobroffs and their partner Stephen Bezuidenhout took a dramatic turn when the LSNP filed an application in the Pretoria High Court to strike the three from the roll of attorneys. The applications followed a series of cases in which the Bobroffs were found to have overcharged accident victims for claims lodged on their behalf against the RAF. Earlier in March Law Society filed in same court report of an inspection carried out by forensic auditors: Bobroffs had also “abused trust fund money, failed to draw up bills for legal fees and failed to pay over to clients within a reasonable time” money the firm recovered from the RAF. The audit concluded that the pair “pose a risk” to their clients and an order was made for a curator take control of the firm’s trust accounts, identify any incorrect payments from these accounts and pay out those who are owed money from the accounts.
  • 22 March – Jewish Report Online - BOBROFFS DO A RUNNER, 68-year old bobba Elaine Bobroff was arrested this morning according to her husband, Ronald, who with his son Darren fled SA for Oz over the weekend after earlier this month admitting that a contingency fee agreement they got some of their clients to sign was illegal.
  • 22 March – Jewish Report Online – LISTEN TO RONALD BOBROFF talking to CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies from Oz this morning saying his wife had been arrested. Read what we have and hear the radio interview. Police and Hawks spokesmen are looking into the matter for SAJR. Come back to follow this evolving story...
  • 22 March – Jewish Report Online – The unteste shura – only on JR Online. BOBBA ELAINE ARRESTED THIS MORNING and appeared before the Johannesburg Specialised Crimes Court on a charge of fraud this afternoon. Her husband Ronald, son Darren and his family skipped the country over the weekend, Read about the outcome of Elaine's fraud and money-laundering trial today… only on www.SAJR.co.za  
  • 23 March – Jewish Report Online – husband and son flee to Australia accused of fleecing South Africans of millions, and 68-year-old Bobba Elaine was left to carry the can, CHARGED WITH FRAUD OF R26 MIL AND MONEY LAUNDERING. Hawks say investigation shows much more is missing.
  • 30 March – Jewish Report Online – Bobroff's is running UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT. On Thursday afternoon the Hawks are expected to release the report on their investigation and Jewish Report Online will then, hopefully, be able to tick many of the outstanding boxes
  • 01 April – Jewish Report Online - HAWKS CAN’T COMPLETE INVESTIGATION - Hawks were expected to complete investigation 29 March, draft a report on morning of 30th and brief the media in the afternoon on certain key elements such as how much money was misappropriated, how, how many victims there were, and what was the state of the trust accounts. They didn’t – as more and more claimants kept coming forward.

1 Comment

  1. 1 nat cheiman 04 Apr
    If Bobroff is successfully extradited, the following will occur; 1) Zuma will pay back the money with interest.
    2)Zuma will resign and ask for forgiveness.
    3)Zuma will plead guilty to money laundering; Rape; and a host of minor offences like tax evasion etc.
    4) He will divorce his 6 (or 7 or 8 )wives.
    5) He will convert to Judaism ( orthodox).

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