MTI’s Johannes Steynberg found guilty of identity fraud
If you’re wondering what happened to Johannes Steynberg following his Brazilian arrest in January 2022, you’re a not alone.
Turns out, rather than extradite Steynberg to the US or South Africa, that Brazilian authorities charged Steynberg with “assuming a false identity”.
As reported by Jan Vermeulen of MyBroadband, Steynberg has been found guilty.
Steynberg’s use of a false identity to enter Brazil violated Article 304 of the Brazilian Penal Code.
Steynberg has been sentenced to 3 years and six months in prison, commuted to payment of a fine.
One interesting tidbit from Steynberg’s judgment is that he had two Brazilian girlfriends.
Court documents also revealed details about his lifestyle while hiding in Brazil — including that he allegedly had two girlfriends under whose names he bought property.
Typically we wouldn’t note a scammer’s romantic activity, but with Steynberg this new revelation stings.
In fleeing South Africa in December 2020, Steynberg left wife Nerina holding the bag.
Nerina spent 2021 living in shame and dodging awkward questions. Johannes spent the year gorging himself on all-you-can-eat threesomes.
Police also identified his fake ID supplier as a man who goes by “Rodrigo”.
Rodrigo also apparently offered to supply cocaine, which Steynberg accepted.
One blink and you’ll miss it detail of Vermeulen’s report is the Club Swan tie-in:
Their investigation also revealed that Steynberg had used the name “Cleisson” to open an account with Club Swan.
Police testified that Steynberg used his Cleisson Veira da Silveira identity to move large amounts of money through a cryptocurrency broker.
Club Swan is owned by Christopher Scanlon (right).
Scanlon used Club Swan and a number of other companies to assist clients with concealing funds.
The specifics of Steynberg’s dealings with Scanlon remain unclear.
If you were thinking with Steynberg’s Brazilian criminal proceedings out of the way that he might now be extradited – yeah, not so fast (no pun intended).
His defence team has appealed, arguing that he was guilty of a lesser crime with a lighter sentence.
At the same time, the state prosecutor launched their own appeal arguing that Steynberg should receive a harsher sentence.
How long is that going to take to resolve? No idea. Maybe another year and a half?
MyBroadband contacted Steynberg’s advocates and associates in Brazil for comment and did not receive a response.
Attempts to get details from law enforcement directly were also unsuccessful.
Criminal proceedings in Brazil remain a mystery to those of us outside of the country.