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Tales of woe from former Bobroff clients

  • Bobroff fallout logo
The scandal around the flight of father and son attorneys Ronald and Darren Bobroff escalates on a daily basis. New claimants come forward all the time and several forensic, criminal and civil investigations are underway, while the legal firm has been placed under curatorship by the Law Society. Follow all the latest Bobroff news as of Wednesday - and watch this space as it changes daily
by ANT KATZ | Apr 06, 2016

The scandal around the flight of father and son attorneys Ronald and Darren Bobroff escalates on a daily basis. New claimants come forward all the time and several forensic, criminal and civil investigations are underway, while the legal firm has been placed under curatorship by the Law Society. 

Hawks spokesman Major Robert Netshiunda told SA Jewish Report that the extradition process, facilitated by Interpol’s issuing red notices for the Bobroffs - who two weeks ago skipped the country for Australia, with Bobroff junior’s wife Lisa - is underway. They will face justice in South Africa, the Hawks insist.

bobroff april outside supreme court“Hundreds of millions of rand” have already been identified. “We are still investigating,” says Netshiunda.


RIGHT: Darren Bobroff, left, and his father Rona;ld outside the High Court - they are not used to being the accused

Two weeks ago, the Bobroffs had pleaded guilty to overcharging two clients and agreed to hand themselves over to police the following Tuesday. They didn’t; they skipped the country instead.

Ronald Bobroff and Darren and his family are hiding in Australia hoping to escape justice. Just prior to legging it, Jewish Report understands they had deposited millions in a bank account of Elaine (68), Ronald’s wife, who was left behind, carrying the can.

Elaine last week Tuesday found herself in the dock on charges of fraud of R26 million and money laundering. She insists that she is innocent of any wrongdoing.

The Bobroffs sold their active files to another attorney, Rael Zimmerman, who told SAJR last week that he had also employed all of the Bobroff staff, but had not bought the business, debts or obligations of RBP Inc (Robert Bobroff and Partners).


RBP Inc placed under curatorship

The Law Society of the Northern Provinces (LSNP) has placed RBP and its accounts under the curatorship of Johan van Staden, who says there is about R27 million in the firm’s trust funds.

Among the most common charges against the Bobroffs is that they overcharged Road Accident Fund (RAF) victims who elected to go the contingency fee route. In these cases, attorneys are legally allowed to charge “twice the normal attorney-client fees, or take 25 per cent of the settlement, whichever is the lesser amount”.

Bobroff Ronald April booksNumerous cases have been brought against the Bobroffs in the past for exceeding these amounts, sometimes by a large margin.


LEFT: Robert Bobroff

Jewish Report has had calls from angry community members seeking information or simply wanting to share their own experiences.

One was Shirley Katz, whose then-18-year-old son, Lance, was involved in a horrendous road accident 14 years ago.

He has since fully recovered. Darren Bobroff got Lance a R300 000 settlement from the RAF and RBP paid him only R120 000 - retaining 60 per cent for themselves.

Shirley is livid: “Darren called me a few years ago,” she says, “and said that if Discovery (Health) queries anything with me I must not give them any information.” This relates to a long-standing legal battle between the medical aid and the Bobroffs who, says Discovery, tell clients who receive pay-outs for medical expenses claims, not to return the money to Discovery. The Bobroffs have always denied this.

Another community caller, Sheila (67), who asked SAJR only to use her first name, was involved in a collision 22 years ago in which she and her husband (73) were seriously injured. Also represented by RBP, Sheila says her husband received just R48 000 of the R100 000 RAF pay-out, while she was awarded R300 000 - but received just R198 000 from RBP.

Sheila was sent to four doctors. One single 2004 consultation and examination was reflected on her legal charges bill at R25 000. “I was none the wiser that I’d been ripped off,” she says, and claims that she was also told other “lies” which have resulted in her living in agony and with no recourse..

RAF spokesman Linda Rulashe said this week that, on hearing of the charges, RAF began their own forensic audit of the Bobroffs’ legal fee accounts. RAF had already referred 18 matters to the police by the weekend, where monies had been claimed by RBP for meetings which their clients say never took place. “Ongoing investigations may lead to other referrals,” she said.


Follow the Back-story

  • February 2014 to 19 March - THE BACK-STORY IN FIVE INSTALMENTS
  • 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 –  LISTEN TO RONALD BOBROFFtalking 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 – The unteste shura – only on JR Online.BOBBA ELAINE ARRESTED THIS MORNINGand 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 onwww.SAJR.co.za
  • 23 March – 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 - Bobroff's is runningUNDER 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 AprilHAWKS CAN’T COMPLETE INVESTIGATION- Hawks were expected to complete investigation 29 March, draft a report on morning of 30thand 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.
  • 04 April – Interpol issued notices and EXTRADITION PROCESS BEGUN on the go
  • 06 AprilCHARGED R25,000 FOR ONE DOCTOR VISIT - All the latest on the Bobroff scandal
  • 06 April - Read SHEILA'S STORY to understand just some of the heartbreak the Bobroffs have left in their wake.

8 Comments

  1. 8 nat cheiman 06 Apr
    I do not intend nor to purport defending the Bobroffs. If they stole or overcharged they must be brought to book. No debate.
    May I take the liberty of saying that Shirley katz's claim on behalf of her son, most probably has prescribed in law. I'm sure that is the defence she will be met with from the Fidelity Fund if she decides to claim.
    The other aspect is apropos the medical accounts. 
    Doctors ( specialists) charge from R15K to R50K for medico legal reports. Its not uncommon to receive this type of account for an examination with a report. Doctors seriously overcharge and that is something that the courts need to look at as well. Inasmuch as lawyers may overreach their clients, so do specialists who are called upon to do reports.
  2. 7 Rob 07 Apr
    You are clearly pursuing the agenda of [sorry, 'Rob' we can't publish this without your name and some evidence   -ED].  You are criminally defaming Ronald and Darren and have failed to refer to the other director Stephen Bezuidenhout who charged the law society approved fee mandate [He is referred to in some of the stories, not all  -ED]. Your credibility has been lost and what's more is the shocking attack upon fellow Jews. [Rob, please understand that we are not following anyone's agenda. If you have evidence of your assertions and proof and are prepared to put your name behind them, we will certainly publish them  -ED]
  3. 6 Dean Almeida 11 Apr
    Ronald Bobroff and his son, Darren, have always been ready to assist myself and hundreds of others beyond their call of duty.
    With this and many other articles - does this not seem like a well-coordinated attack on the firm.
    My experience of [Removed, uncorroborated   -ED] on the other hand was aggressive and it seemed as though he was high on his own power. As though he is untouchable and can do whatever suits him to get what he wants.
    I do not know everything, certainly, no one does...
    What I do know for sure though is Mr Bobroff is a decent man, who has always been there to help his clients and in many cases, strangers.
    Whatever happens - I know RBP has looked out for me...
  4. 5 Renee Maletsky 11 Apr
    I to was grossly overcharged for a RAF claim in 2009. [Removed  -ED]  and no itemized account was ever given to us. justice will be served one day.
    KARMA
    people like the Bobroffs think they a cut above the rest of us.  They are an absolute [Removed  -ED] the Jewish nation. May they rot in hell. I do believe the plan backfired with Bobba Elaine R26 million in her account???????

    ​Sorry, Renee, for reasons of your own legal exposure, and ours opinions have been allowed but uncorroborated allegations have been removed       -ED


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