South Africa

Fine for Steinhoff’s Markus Jooste cut by almost 90%

A fine against former Steinhoff Chief Executive Officer Markus Jooste for insider trading has been cut by almost 90% after a local tribunal set aside the original penalty.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority has issued a revised penalty of R20 million ($1.2 million) against Jooste, down from the R162 million announced in October 2020, it said in a statement Wednesday.

The new fine is payable by January 6.

The first amount was set aside by a tribunal a year ago after it determined that while Jooste disclosed inside information to others, the warning he messaged to four people to encourage them to sell their Steinhoff shares ahead of a 2017 collapse was vague and imprecise.

As a result, it said he only breached one section of the Financial Markets Act, not two.

The ex-CEO’s lawyer, Callie Albertyn, said his client declined to comment on the fine and whether a further appeal is being considered.

Jooste is among four people who will go on trial in Germany next year on charges of accounting fraud related to Steinhoff, which came close to collapse after auditors refused to sign off on company financials five years ago.

He’s alleged to be the architect of the scandal that engulfed the retailer. It’s the first time Jooste is set to go on trial.


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