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2022/10/11      |  Written By:  Captain Y Mgolodela   |   Province:  Eastern Cape

EASTERN CAPE: - The East London Regional court sentenced  Karl Olinger (64) on 10 October 2022.This is subsequent to his conviction on 22 February A 2022 for charges of theft of trust funds..

During the period between 1999 and 2007, Olinger as a practising attorney received trust funds on behalf of his clients, but did not use the funds for the intended purpose. This resulted in a number of his clients  lodging complaints with East London based  Serious Commercial Crime Investigation  team of the Hawks for probing.

The probe by the Hawks revealed that Olinger received proceeds of the sales of numerous immovable properties  but did not pay the proceeds over to his clients. In another instance, he was instructed by a client to recover funds owed to the client by debtor. The debtor paid the funds into the trust account of Olinger, however he did not pay the funds over to his client.

Olinger further represented the Maletswai Municipality in recovering outstanding rates from a municipal client. The unpaid municipal rates were paid into the trust account of  Olinger and he did not pay the funds over to the municipality.

Olinger was also appointed as an executor in the winding of the deceased’s estate .The complainant paid a total of more than R181 000 in respect of the winding up of the estate. He did not finalise the winding up of the estate.

Olinger  was again appointed as an executor of a second estate. He received  a total amount of more than R319 000 in respect of the estate. The claims against the estate amounted to no more than R197 000 but Olinger only disbursed an amount of less than R173 000.

Findings by the Hawks revealed that Olinger prejudiced his clients cash to the value of more than R467 000.He was convicted on 22 February 2022 and the matter was remanded to 9 May 2022 for sentencing. After repeated postponements, he  was ultimately sentenced on 10 October 2022.He was given 2 years correctional supervision and a further 5 years direct imprisonment suspended for 5 years provided he is not convicted of theft during the period of suspension.