Gavin du Plessis is a 48-year-old disbarred attorney who will most probably spend a good part of his adult life behind bars for his unspeakable greed.
How Gavin du Plessis stole from a deceased client
The gluttonous lawyer from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, appeared at the city’s regional court to submit a guilty plea on charges of theft.
According to police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase, in the winter of 2008, Gavin du Plessis was entrusted with the tough job of distributing the estate of a deceased client.
For his services, the family was to pay Gavin du Plessis a flat rate fee of R60 000. 12 years ago, this was a chunk of money. Sure, the cost of living has increased rapidly ever since but R60 000 in 2020 is still a hefty income for services rendered by a sole proprietor.
Alas, Du Plessis was in line to rake in the randelas but he must have seen an opportunity to get more than what was due to him. According to Lt-Col Nkwalase, the only way he was going to fatten his wallet was if he stole the entire estate money.
What happened in the years he evaded capture?
Once the full amount, totalling R320 000, was released by the estate, it should have been transferred over to Du Plessis’ trust account for further distribution to his family, less R60 000.
This means that, in the end, the family would be left to take from a total of R260 000. However, in a brazen move, Du Plessis transferred the entire estate total to his personal bank account.
It is not exactly clear how the family found out about this, or what happened to the rogue lawyer but the Hawks were brought in shortly after he stole the cash and disappeared.
Du Plessis, in absentia, was struck off the roll of attorneys in 2009 and the Hawks investigation, for some reason unbeknownst to us, dragged on for 11 years.
The attorney has been cooperating with authorities since his recent arrest. He pleaded guilty and the matter was put to rest for sentencing which will take place at the Port Elizabeth Regional Court on Wednesday, 29 July 2020.