Brown feels 'vindicated'

Former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown has welcomed his guilty verdict.

Former Fidentia boss Arthur Brown appears at the Cape Town Regional Court on embezzlement charges involving the Fundi and Infinity investment groups, Thursday, 13 August 2009. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - Former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown on Thursday said a long an unpleasant chapter of his life was now over.

His case has been dragging on for about six years and earlier he was convicted on two charges of fraud in the Western Cape High Court.

Brown's case relates to the embezzlement of hundreds of millions of rand in a business and a state-owned entity.

Dressed in suit and tie, Brown grinned as he spoke to the media outside the court.

He was happy with the outcome, adding that he felt vindicated.

"When this saga started six years ago, I was running the biggest pyramid scheme in the history of this country. I had stolen billions and in fact, originally, I was arrested on 197 counts. I have since been found guilty on two technical statutory offences."

Brown was acquitted on seven other charges including theft and money laundering.

He said he was looking forward to telling his story during sentencing on April 29.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Jannie van Vuuren said they were happy with the outcome, saying the case could have carried on for much longer.

"I think there's a massive cost saving effect as well in terms of continuing with the case. We called five out of our potential 50 witnesses, so it could have dragged on for quite a while still. The accused also made a huge contribution to the matter by negotiating with the state."