FSCA fines Steinhoff’s Jooste R475 million for misleading info

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Jooste
Markus Jooste, the former CEO of Steinhoff was fined by the FSCA. Image credit: corruptionwatch.org

Markus Jooste, the former CEO of Steinhoff, faces a looming deadline to settle a R475 million fine recently levied against him by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

The clock is ticking as Jooste has until April 19 to meet this hefty penalty.

This isn’t Jooste’s first encounter with the FSCA. Previously, he was ordered to pay a R20 million fine for insider trading, a debt which remains outstanding.

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The FSCA’s decision to impose the latest fine stems from Jooste’s role in misleading the market about the operations of the furniture retailer during the period spanning from 2014 to 2017.

Covering costs

Notably, the fine includes a R10 million component designated for covering the costs of the FSCA’s investigation. Failure to settle the full amount within the next month will incur a substantial interest rate of 11.75%.

Anticipating a protracted legal battle, the FSCA foresees Jooste’s potential appeal to the Financial Sector Tribunal. Alex Pascoe, head of the FSCA’s market abuse investigation team, expressed the likelihood of Jooste pursuing this avenue, indicating that the case could escalate to the Constitutional Court.

German arrest warrant

Jooste’s legal troubles extend beyond South African jurisdiction. In connection with a fraud trial, a regional court in Oldenburg issued an arrest warrant against Jooste after his failure to appear.

Compounding his woes, Jooste’s assets have been frozen by the South African Reserve Bank, further constraining his financial movement.

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Jooste’s departure from Steinhoff in 2017 precipitated a catastrophic fallout, nearly causing the company’s collapse and erasing a staggering R200 billion in pension fund assets and other investments as investors uncovered financial irregularities in the company’s statements.

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