Cell C R130M Fraud: Another Accused Hilel January In The Dock

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Another accused in the Cell C R130 million fraud matter 45-year-old Hilel January appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court Monday on charges of fraud and money laundering.

Last week 37-year-old Michelle Pillay and 42-year-old Khatiya Patel appeared in the same court in connection with the Cell C fraud matter.

Khatiya Patel allegedly colluded and inflated rates for the IT and network services rendered to Cell C while working as an Administrator at Techno Genius during the same period.

Fraud accused Michelle Pillay is said to have received about R3 million from the proceeds of the crime. The money was allegedly paid into her bank account.

The pair were released on R50 000 bail each.

On Monday, January – also accused in the fraud – handed himself to authorities in Johannesburg accompanied by his legal representative and was subsequently arrested and charged.

January’s arrest brought to seven the number of accused persons in the massive fraud at Cell C, which allegedly involved inflating invoices for services rendered.

January is accused of involvement in the fraud in which Cell C’s money was allegedly stolen using inflated invoices from IT and network service providers, Redefine Technology, Cornerstone & Blue Kit IT, and Techno Genius between 2012 and 2019. 

Investigations revealed that Redefined Technology, solely owned by former IT Manager at Cell C, January, was awarded software and network service tender.

Cell C was billed R130 million for services rendered after invoices were allegedly changed to reflect higher amounts.

As much as R47 million was allegedly transferred into Techno Genius, owned by 38-year-old Adriaan Pillay whose business partner, 44-year-old Mohamed Ismail Adamjee, at the time was a Cell C executive.

They were both arrested for allegedly colluding and inflating rates for services required by Cell C.

On Monday, January appeared in court and was granted bail of R30 000. His case was postponed to next week Wednesday, 16 February 2022, when he will appear alongside the other six suspects.

They include Michelle Pillay, Khatiya Patel, and their husband Adriaan Pillay and Mohamed Ismail Adamjee.

Manuel Reimaldo Teixeira (62), and Lufuno Lesly Nevhutalu (59) are the other accused in the fraud matter.

Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said investigations were continuing and more arrests could not be ruled out.