A Cape Town woman has appeared in the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court for allegedly faking her son’s kidnapping and defrauding friends of R4 million, it was reported on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Derrick Vogel told the court on Monday that Kateryna Karpovska, 39, lied and manipulated people to benefit herself financially, the Cape Argus reported.
He asked magistrate Amrith Chabilall to consider whether Karpovska was honest and trustworthy.
Karpovska, who is from the Ukraine, faces charges of fraud, money-laundering and contravening the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Act.
On the evening of September 2, 2009, she allegedly e-mailed a friend that her son had been kidnapped and that a ransom of US2 million (about R16 million) was being demanded.
She claimed she had raised most of the money, but still needed a certain amount.
Seven friends agreed to help and paid money into her account.
According to the report, she then told them her son had been returned.
Karpovska admitted to lying about the kidnapping, but said she had been forced to do so by an ex-boyfriend, who held her against her will and demanded she get the money.
Judgment was expected on January 23.