Craig Warriner gets 25 years in jail for R 1.2 billion fraud

Johannesburg investment manager Craig Warriner has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of over R1.2 billion.

Craig Warriner sentenced

The sentencing occurred on Monday in the Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court, bringing closure to a saga that left hundreds of investors financially devastated.

Warriner, 60, the former chair of the Old Boys’ Association of St Stithians College, founded and managed the BHI Trust.

The trust, which collapsed in August last year, exposed the extent of a decade-long fraudulent scheme.

Appearing in court in a black T-shirt and sleeveless jersey, Warriner pleaded guilty to 207 counts of fraud, corruption, and operating without a financial services provider license, in violation of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

The BHI Ponzi scheme has left a trail of financial devastation and unanswered questions. Court-appointed trustees have recovered only about R100 million in assets, a mere fraction of the claims against the trust.


Investigations continue to reveal shocking details, including discrepancies in auditing practices and the involvement of various financial advisory firms.

AfriForum, a lobby group representing several victims, has demanded that Warriner testify against other implicated individuals. Their intervention has caused delays in the legal proceedings, highlighting the case’s complexity and the fraud’s widespread impact.

As the legal battle unfolds, Warriner’s life in prison remains shrouded in mystery. Attempts to smuggle a phone to him have failed, and he reportedly refuses to talk to anyone. Protected by inmates, his thoughts in his cell are known only to him.

The sentencing of Craig Warriner marks a significant moment in South Africa’s fight against financial fraud, but it also serves as a grim reminder of the vulnerabilities in the financial system. For the hundreds of investors left in ruin, the road to recovery is long, and justice, though served, cannot undo the damage inflicted by the BHI Ponzi scheme.


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