She is said to be part of an African Muslim sect that is trying to get hold of the computerization company Centric and construction company Strukton. She is said to have committed fraud when she was director of the Twente solar panel company DSS. She would be involved in an attack on her former lawyer Philippe Schol.
She is Brigitte van Egten, ex-girlfriend of entrepreneur and billionaire Gerard Sanderink. He owns Centric, Strukton and DSS. For years, the two ex-lovers have had a legal battle with lawsuits back and forth, including about the above allegations.
On Monday, the legal dispute entered the next round with a summons against self-proclaimed cyber expert Rian van Rijbroek, Sanderink’s girlfriend since autumn 2018. Van Egten wants access to 11 terabytes of data that was seized from Van Rijbroek at the end of December. This happened at the request of Van Egten. A judge must now determine whether it will have access to the information.
Hassle about Sanderink for years
Things have been restless around Sanderink for years. In addition to the dozens of lawsuits that he and his ex-girlfriend conducted back and forth, there was also a major exodus at the top of his companies.
Also read: How the Automater Was Bewitched by the Cyber Guru
Recurring factor: the role of Rian van Rijbroek. She has had a relationship with Sanderink since 2018 and is involved, as those involved previously in NRC stated, with the state of affairs at his companies. The ex-girlfriend of the entrepreneur has also been accused of fraud since the spring of 2019. Van Egten suspects that Van Rijbroek plays an important role in this.
Sanderink even had to leave at the beginning of 2021 as CEO of Strukton, one of the largest construction companies in the Netherlands. That happened after he threatened to visit a police inspector at the end of 2020 with “a vigilante group”. He and a bailiff had come to Strukton’s office to seize information on Sanderink’s e-mail accounts. Anyone who wishes to do so and has a legal interest in it can, for example, enforce access to a mailbox. Van Egten wanted to know how wide the accusations about her were.
With a mediation process in the course of 2021, things seemed to calm down for a while. Legal proceedings were largely suspended. Sanderink also returned to the top of the construction company in the autumn after his successor left Strukton.
The peace was short-lived. As it turns out, Van Egten once again had e-mail accounts seized at the end of 2021. This time it concerns the mailboxes of Rian van Rijbroek. Van Egten wants to find out, among other things, what information Van Rijbroek has shared about her and with whom. That insight may be useful in proceedings on the merits that Van Egten started at the end of last year against Sanderink and Van Rijbroek, among others, because of persistent allegations.
After the seizure, Sanderink appears to have intimidated someone from a bailiff’s team. On January 17, 2022, he visited an involved researcher at his private address. The researcher helped the bailiff copy no less than 11 terabytes of data. Sanderink tried to enter his home for an interview. When the researcher did not want that and pointed out the presence of his underage daughter, Sanderink refused to leave. It wasn’t until the investigator threatened to call the police that the billionaire left.
This is apparent from the summons that his ex-girlfriend Van Egten submitted to the East Brabant court on Monday. Before she can access the seized data, she needs permission from the judge. NRC has seen the summons, as well as other documents that confirm the events surrounding the investigator.
Sanderink and Van Egten were a couple until 2008. At that time, Van Egten also became director of one of his companies, solar panel company DSS from Goor, Twente. She worked there until 2020, when she had to leave due to fraud allegations.
Also read: Sanderink has to pay ex-girlfriend almost 2 million euros
Van Egten would have stolen money in her role as director. So far, no evidence has been found for the alleged theft. Sanderink has since had to pay almost three million euros in penalty payments because of repeating the allegations without evidence.
However, Van Egten thinks that Sanderink is still spreading the allegations. To check that, she had messages seized in Sanderink’s mailbox at the end of 2020. She also wanted information from his iPhone. However, when a bailiff and investigator wanted to copy that information, the iPhone was wiped remotely. Sanderink also verbally attacked the bailiff.
The information that could still be obtained formed the basis for proceedings on the merits that Van Egten started at the end of 2021. In addition to Sanderink and Van Rijbroek, she also sued various (former) directors of Strukton and Centric, as well as the companies themselves. It concerns Aike Schoots, Freddie Veltmaat, Henny Luijrink and Ben van Lier.
In a summons of no less than 488 pages, Van Egten tried to show that they did not intervene and in some cases even contributed to the spread of Sanderink’s accusations against her. In addition to committing fraud at DSS, she is allegedly in the grip of an African Muslim sect that would like to gain control over Strukton and Centric. In addition, she would have installed 4 terabytes of porn on DSS’s server. Van Rijbroek also states in an audio tape that she has heard that Van Egten is involved in an assassination attempt on her former lawyer Philippe Schol. He was shot on November 6, 2019.
No evidence has ever been found for the claims. The Public Prosecution Service suspects that the attack on Scholar has to do with another case, in which he was involved as a trustee. Also, several investigations have not provided evidence of fraud.
Various emails and audio tapes have been added to the summons that must prove that the drivers contributed to what Van Egten believes was a hostile climate against her. For example, the then Centric CEO Henny Luijrink wrote in emails about Van Egten in 2019 and 2020: “I call this pay back time. Aim and pull!” and: “This lady should really be locked up in a penitentiary and/or mental institution. She really doesn’t track.”
On December 12, 2019, Sanderink wrote to former ministers Ferd Grapperhaus (Justice and Security, CDA) and Wopke Hoekstra (Finance, CDA), among others, that it was “conclusively established” that Van Egten and a co-director had “frauded”. Sanderink does not agree that the Almelo court ruled otherwise. With various drivers in the CC, he writes to the ministers: “In my opinion, only 1 solution fits here and that is disciplinary punishments for these types of judges.”
Government IT Administrator
With a huge legal offensive, Van Egten is now also trying to directly involve Sanderink’s companies in the conflict. She demands a ban on the spread of the accusations by Sanderink, Van Rijbroek and the (former) directors. She also wants compensation. The amount has yet to be determined.
“Until recently, the involvement of the board members of Centric and Strukton in this case was unknown to my client,” says Van Egtens lawyer Paul Tjiam. “It was only as a result of the seized e-mails that we found out that the top of Centric and Strukton have been working together with Rian van Rijbroek against my client from the very beginning.”
Read more about Strukton here: One driver after another leaves the Sanderink companies
Both Centric and Strukton are large companies. Strukton (turnover 2019: 1.85 billion euros, 6,651 employees) is one of the largest rail and road builders in the country. The company was listed on the stock exchange under the name Oranjewoud until Monday, but Sanderink bought all the shares, which meant that it could be withdrawn from the Amsterdam stock exchange. Automater Centric (2020 turnover: 437 million euros, 3,684 employees) manages various IT systems for the government, including at the Dutch Central Bank. A system for processing local taxes in many municipalities also runs on Centric software.
Officially, Van Rijbroek has no position at the companies. However, documents relating to the proceedings on the merits show that in recent years Van Rijbroek has been transferred more than EUR 425,000 from Sanderink Investments, the parent company of Strukton and Centric.
Van Rijbroek would, among other things, write and send the accusatory emails about Van Egten from Sanderink’s work address, his ex-girlfriend suspects. In order to demonstrate this, in the context of the initiated proceedings on the merits, on 21 December last year it had the contents of Van Rijbroek’s laptops, hard drives and telephones seized. According to lawyer Tjiam, Van Egten “wants to know the total extent of what Van Rijbroek has said and written about her and with whom she has shared it”. “In addition, Van Rijbroek has personal documents from Van Egten, and she also wants them back.”
Read here about the previous confrontation with a bailiff: The last eruption was one too many for entrepreneur Gerard Sanderink
It is apparent from the documents that Van Egten submitted to the court that Van Rijbroek and Sanderink did not simply cooperate in the proceedings. Sanderink previously threatened a bailiff with “a vigilante group”, this time Van Rijbroek initially refused to allow the bailiff and a researcher to enter her home in Veghel in Brabant. She was said to be infected with the coronavirus and informed them that they would also become infected.
When the bailiff persisted, Van Rijbroek called in Sanderink and his lawyer. It eventually led to a confrontation between Sanderink and the researcher at his private address almost a month later. The researcher’s employer subsequently informed Sanderink that he must stop the threats because the behavior is “very inappropriate” and “pure provocation and intimidation”.
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