Bookkeeper gets suspended sentence

2013-05-27 20:39

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Johannesburg - A Western Cape bookkeeper was given a five-year suspended sentence on Monday for stealing thousands of rand from the Jewish Community Centre (JCC).

The Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court sentenced Ashley Fataar, 47, from Wynberg in Cape Town, for the theft of R144 000 over a period of three years.

Prosecutor Denver Combrink said three different bodies were involved in the matter - a charity known as the United Jewish Campaign (UJC), the JCC, and the Bnoth Zion Association (BZA).

The BZA sponsored the UJC's monthly rental, which was paid each month to the JCC.

It was Fataar's duty to deposit the money into the JCC's bank account each month.

Instead Fataar channelled the rentals into his own bank account.

Combrink and defence lawyer Haley Lawrence agreed a suspended jail sentence would meet the interests of justice and the community.

Repeating the offence

Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg said the court had to focus on deterring Fataar from repeating the offence.

"You [Fataar] were not a teenager who thought he could show-off, take chances and get away with it. You are an adult, and as such have to realise that crime has consequences."

An aggravating factor was that he had stolen from an NGO whose purpose was to care for the most vulnerable in Cape Town's Jewish communities, she said.

"What goes around, must come around. You thought that you could get away with it, and that the auditors would never detect it."

Sonnenberg said Fataar's children had expected honesty and integrity from him and he had stolen despite his adequate salary as a bookkeeper.

The fact that he was a first-time offender was all that saved him from prison, she said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  corruption

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