South Africa news December 5, 2008

Garth le Roux gets four years for tax fraud

Cricinfo staff

Garth le Roux, the former South Africa fast bowler, has been sentenced to four years in jail for tax fraud. His accountant, Deon van Heerden, has also been sentenced for the same term.

The sentence was handed down in Cape Town's Wynberg Regional Court on Friday morning. "A message that people with big cheque books can buy their way out of prison is wrong," said Magistrate Jackie Redelinghuys.

Le Roux's and Van Heerden's bail was extended pending their appeal.

Both men had been convicted of tax fraud in August - le Roux on three tax fraud counts, and van Heerden on seven. The charged involved more than R1.9m, well above the R500,000 threshold for a minimum 15-year sentence.

The charges stemmed from issues relating to the tax of commissions that le Roux earned as an agent selling property at an upmarket gold estate near George, in South Africa's Western Cape province.