Alleged fraudster hits local employment agency

2008-11-25 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG employment agency has laid criminal and civil charges against a former employee for allegedly defrauding it of more than half a million rand.

It is alleged that the 26-year-old woman defrauded Pronel Brokers of more than R580 000.

The alleged crimes took place while she was employed as payroll administrator, a position she held for over four years.

“This amount of money might be up to a million.

“For now, we only know that she paid the money to eight ghost employees. We are still trying to find more,” said Bridget Jones, the managing director of the company.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said the suspect will soon be arrested.

Jones is hoping to replace the stolen money by applying to the court to repossess a house that the suspect co-owns with her husband. The husband has been listed as the second respondent in the civil claim.

Pronel recruits temporary employees for a variety of companies, and it pays the employees. It is alleged that the suspect would continue to pay money to employees even when they were no longer attached to Pronel. But the money would go into her two bank accounts.

Jones said that on October 14 she found that the suspect was continuing to pay large amounts of money to an employee who had last worked for Pronel in June, through an Absa bank account.

She said she contacted the bank only to discover that the suspect was the holder of the account.

“I confronted first respondent [the suspect] with the information that I had obtained. She confessed to me that she had been stealing the money … She was adamant that this was a single incident,” said Jones in an affidavit.

However, on October 15, the suspect allegedly phoned Jones to confess that she had also paid another R109 000 to another person for a lengthy period even though that person also no longer worked with the company.

Jones said the suspect made an agreement to repay the money in instalments. Initial monthly instalments were going to be R12 000 and eventually R2 000.

However, Jones found that there were more ghost employees after she appointed a VIP Data Systems company to investigate the matter further.

Now she wants an investigator to examine the suspect’s bank accounts more closely to establish the pattern of the transactions. This is because she thinks that the suspect invested the money.

bhans@witness.co.za

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