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J Arthur Brown's previous sentence 'not harsh enough'

The SCA has sentenced Brown to an effective 15 years behind bars.

FILE: Former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - The Financial Services Board (FSB) says convicted fraudster former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown's previous sentence did not take into account the severity of his crime.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) today set aside that sentence handed down by the Western Cape High Court which included a fine of R150,000 and a suspended jail term.

Brown was convicted on two counts of fraud related to the Fidentia scandal last year.

He has now been sentenced to an effective 15 years behind bars.

The FSB, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Congress of South African Trade Unions have all welcomed the SCA's ruling.

The board's Dube Tshidi says, "How do you spend an investor's money for your own benefit and turn around and say that investor has not suffered any prejudice? We couldn't understand that and now the SCA has actually vindicated our approach."

Brown was facing a raft of serious charges related to the theft of over R1 billion, mostly from the widows and orphans of mineworkers.

He was convicted after admitting to misrepresentations about investments entrusted to him.

The state originally laid 192 charges against him but he was found guilty on two counts of fraud last year.

The state approached the SCA to ask for a heavier sentence against Brown after he was sentenced in May.

Brown was fined R75,000 or 18 months imprisonment on each of the two counts against him but these were suspended for four years on condition he not be convicted on charges of fraud again.

In June, the Western Cape High Court denied the NPA leave to appeal the case after which it lodged an application with the SCA.