Cryptocurrency investors in the ill-fated Rawlins Trust will have to wait a while longer for settlement of the trust’s affairs, after Eastern Cape High Court (East London) Judge Bantubonke Tokota granted Richard and Marise Rawlins leave to appeal a narrow but significant issue in his winding-up order for the trust.

A Daily Dispatch report says Tokota accepted submissions on behalf of the couple that their written notice to investor Russel Linde to the effect that the trust was insolvent, and could not repay his investment, may have been signed and presented under duress, warranting referral to a higher court.

Tokota granted the couple leave to appeal to a full Bench of the Eastern Cape High Court.

Liquidator Garth Voigt, of IDEC Trustees, has said in various formal reports to investors up to 2 September that the provisions of the Insolvency Act would ‘apply as if no appeal has been noted’ though no property belonging to the trust could be liquidated without the written consent of the Rawlins trustees.

According to Voigt, the Rawlins trustees refused permission to transfer funds from a dollar-denominated Binance cryptocurrency exchange fund to a local rand-denominated estate bank account to secure a higher interest rate.

While he had given reasons for his finding that the notice was not provided under duress, Tokota said in the application for leave to appeal his judgment that another court may find that the ‘peculiarity’ of the notice being drafted by Linde signalled it was provided by the couple under duress.

Tokota said another court may find in favour of the Rawlins couple.

However, he dismissed other grounds for appeal raised by the couple, as well as an application for leave to appeal a costs order awarded against them earlier.

Full Daily Dispatch report