Book-keeper jailed for 7 years for fraud

2013-04-27 08:41

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - A 42-year-old book-keeper with an addiction to gambling, who drove her former employer to the verge of bankruptcy, was jailed for seven years on Friday on 189 counts of fraud involving R2m.

Tracy Galand, a mother of two, appeared in the Bellville Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town, before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

She was sentenced to an additional five years, suspended conditionally for five years.

Galand was the book-keeper at Master Organics and had to ensure the monthly payments of suppliers to the company.

The court found she manipulated the system at FNB, to channel creditor payments to her own bank account, over a period of two years.

Sonnenberg said Galand had abused her book-keeping talent to enrich herself at her employer's expense in order to support her gambling addiction.

She had devised a complicated but clever scheme to manipulate the bank system, and this had continued for two years.

"The community expects you, as a responsible parent, to resist the urge to steal," Sonnenberg said.

"A rule of life is that if you play with fire, you must expect to get burned."

Sonnenberg said Galand had also failed in her duty to be a role model to her children.

Money overdue

Andre van Zyl, a director at Master Organics, told the court that he only became aware of the situation when his supplier of bags complained that monies owed were seriously overdue.

He said Master Organics had suffered heavy financial losses, that a farm belonging to the business had to be sold to avoid bankruptcy and the bank had withdrawn the company's overdraft as a result of Galand's scheme.

Legal Aid defence attorney Hailey Lawrence said the interests of Galand's one child, aged 11, was of paramount importance in terms of the constitution.

For this reason, she urged the court not to impose a sentence that would deprive the child of her mother's care.

Constitutional right

Sonnenberg said constitutional rights were not absolute, and that one person's rights often had to be weighed against another's to determine which person's right was more important.

Galand had a husband, who could take care of the child while she was in prison and, if this violated her constitutional right, it was of her own doing.

Sonnenberg said Galand had a previous conviction for theft, when she got a suspended prison sentence in 2001.

She agreed with prosecutor Gertrude Magopeni that, because this happened so long ago, Galand could be treated as a first-time offender.

Although no violence was involved, the court also declared Garland unfit to possess a firearm as required by the Criminal Procedures Act.

Read more on:    fnb  |  cape town  |  corruption

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
24 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.