Former VBS CFO sentenced to seven years for fraud

Seven-year jail sentence handed down to Former VBS bank chief financial officer.

Phillip Truter, former VBS CFO, was sentenced to seven years in jail after pleading guilty on 7 October to charges for his involvement in the looting of the bank.

Truter faced charges of corruption, fraud, racketeering, and money laundering, among others, and he pleaded guilty to some of them. His charges related to the looting of at least R2 billion at the VBS Bank, in which he allegedly received over R5 million in kickbacks.

He admitted that while he claimed that the financial statements of the bank for the year ending March 2017 were accurate, he knew that the statement of the financial position was false.

Truter was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, with three of those years suspended, meaning he will serve seven years in prison.

Truter was arrested in June along with seven other accused, who are implicated in advocate Terry Motau’s Great Bank Heist report. The report showed almost R2 billion was stolen from the bank over three years by executives and politicians. His confessions confirm much of the report, which had revealed “a wide range of criminality in the conduct of the affairs of VBS” and recommended criminal charges be investigated.

He entered into a plea agreement with the state, pleading guilty and assisting with further investigations into the bank’s robbery. Truter admitted that he unlawfully and intentionally misled shareholders on the financial position of VBS.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) welcomed the judgment.