Offer to recover millions from rogue RAF lawyer
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CAPE TOWN – The wheels are on the move to claim millions of rand owed to the poor who were bamboozled by disgraced Bellville lawyer Brian Baumann.
Baumann’s name was officially struck off the attorney roll this week, after Western Cape High Court Judge Patrick Gamble ruled that the actions of the convicted fraudster for defrauding clients who had filed claims for compensation from the Road Accident Fund, were “outrageous to say the least. ”.
Baumann, 53, is jailed at Goodwood after in November last year he pleaded guilty and was convicted of 16 counts of fraud and sentenced to 12 years of direct imprisonment.
The High Court noted that Baumann misled its clients as to the scope of their respective settlements, telling them that they were only entitled to a fraction of what was owed to them.
The indictment showed that the actual damage suffered by the 16 clients duped by him was R14.8 million.
In one claim, there was a settlement amount of R 2.5 million, but only R 500,000 was paid by Baumann who pocketed R 1.97 million.
There were seven cases where the amount withheld by Baumann exceeded R 1 million, and in five other cases he retained more than R 500,000.
The LPC asked the High Court to ban him from practicing, which Judge Gamble granted.
“It is scandalous to say the least that a judicial officer is involved in such a scam.
“But what worsens the situation is the fact that the clients were poor people who had personally suffered injuries (or were the dependents of injured people) and were in desperate need of the money paid to them by. the RAF to survive, ”noted the judge, who was approved by interim judge Nolundi Nyati.
During the court proceedings, the LPC said Baumann’s victims could benefit from claims against the Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund, and the court further ordered the LPC to notify the victims in writing.
Yesterday, Fidelity Fund claims manager Jerome Losper said he has so far received 19 claims with a combined value of R13.4 million and paid five claims totaling R3.2 million.
LPC spokesman Sthembiso Mnisi said they welcomed the judgment.
“We believe this sends a clear message that Mr. Baumann’s conduct will not be tolerated.
“The LPC is established to protect members of the public from stray legal practitioners.
“We have already received several inquiries regarding Baumann, and these have all been referred to the Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund.
“We will obtain a list of criminal complainants and inform them of the possibility of filing a complaint against the LPFF.
Members of the public are encouraged to contact their Western Cape Provincial Council office on 021 443 6700 or by email. [email protected] if they have any questions regarding Baumann.
Cape Town Hours