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Steinhoff seeks to recoup payments paid to former CEO

JOHANNESBURG, July 2 (Reuters) - Steinhoff International said on Tuesday it had started legal proceedings against former chief executive Markus Jooste and former chief financial officer Ben La Grange in a high court to recover certain salary and bonus payments paid to them prior to 2017. The retailer's CEO in March told lawmakers that Jooste, la Grange, along with six other people, were identified by an investigation as players in inflating Steinhoff profits and asset values over several years.

Steinhoff first flagged holes in its accounts in December 2017 -- the warning shot for an accounting fraud since put at more than $7 billion -- shocking investors who had backed its rise from a small South African outfit to a discount furniture retailer straddling four continents. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by Jason Neely)