Trustco lays fraud charge against law firm

Trustco Insurance which has been accused by several law firms of failing to pay lawyers for work done for the company, on Wednesday announced that it had laid a fraud charge against one of the firms involved in the payment dispute.

Trustco Insurance announced in a media statement that it laid a fraud charge against the firm Krüger Van Vuuren & Co after allegedly discovering during an internal investigation that the firm submitted invoices to the company for payment for work that had in fact not been done by the firm.

“It appeared that Trustco Insurance was invoiced for court appearances when the legal practitioner from Krüger Van Vuuren & Co was not in court,” the company said.

Trustco Insurance stated that it laid a complaint with the police, and has also informed the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) of the development.

Krüger Van Vuuren & Co lodged a complaint against Trustco Insurance with Namfisa and the Bank of Namibia in November last year.

The complaint was compiled by ISG Namibia, which was asked by Krüger Van Vuuren and Co to investigate Trustco Insurance’s alleged non-payment of legal fees.

Namfisa was asked to investigate the cash reserves of Trustco Insurance, with ISG Namibia saying it believed Trustco subsidiary Legal Shield was not honouring its legal obligations towards its policyholders and was, by terminating instructions given to law firms which complained about unpaid accounts, obstructing the delivery of justice.

Lawyer Hennie Krüger yesterday slammed the charge laid against his firm as “a strong-arm tactic” and a “witch-hunt” on the part of Trustco Insurance.

His firm has not committed any fraud, Krüger said.

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