‘Cancer con’ teacher to lose estate

2017-01-20 10:33
Vindra (Vinny) Jaickaran Moodley.

Vindra (Vinny) Jaickaran Moodley. (File)

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Former Cowan House schoolteacher Vindra Jaickaran Moodley who stands accused of defrauding the school of over R2 million, did not oppose the school’s application to provisionally sequestrate her estate on Thursday.

According to court papers she is married to Links Moodley and their property in Acutt Road in Hilton is jointly owned by them.

Moodley attended the case on Thursday and spoke briefly to the school’s advocate, Deon Schaup. He subsequently told Judge Piet Bezuidenhout that she was not opposing the order, which the court then granted.

Moodley’s estate was provisionally sequestrated and she and any other interested parties were given until February 22 to show why the sequestration should not be made final.

Moodley, who taught at Cowan House from 2009, made headlines when accusations came to light towards the end of 2015.

She is currently standing trial in the Commercial Crimes Court in Durban on charges of defrauding the school of R2 099 290,58.

She is due to appear in court again on March 16.

Cowan House headmaster Robin Bruce Odell said she has also been charged for the alleged losses arising from her allegedly false claim to be suffering from liver cancer.

The prosecution alleges the amount involved in that charge is R105 714,66, said Odell.

He said Moodley told him in April 2014 that she had been diagnosed with liver cancer.

She produced medical certificates and was granted sick leave with full benefits twice in 2015. It later emerged she had lied, he said.

Odell alleges that despite an undertaking by Moodley to sign over to the school her pension payout of R212 000 as “part payment” of the stolen money, they have not received it.

He said when she was first confronted in October 2015 she tried to absolve herself from any wrongdoing and implicated her son, Rushmir.

The school’s investigations established that she’d used four bank accounts in her name, and one in the name of her son, Rushmir Chhoteylal, into which stolen money was allegedly deposited.

Odell said Moodley was employed in April 2009 to teach computer skills at the school.

She also had to manage the purchase of, and attend to the maintenance of computer hardware and equipment.

Because of her position the school’s business manager, Frances Geraldine Ash, trusted her implicitly.

“She grossly abused that trust,” said Odell.

He said during August 2015 the school hosted the Proudly Primary Conference. He said Moodley’s portfolio was to organise sound and connectivity for the conference and she had negotiated with Big Beat Productions.

During October 2015 it came to his attention that there was discrepancy on the invoice that Big Beat sent the school. He said the invoice for R39 937,01 had been altered and the amount increased to R78 585,31. The bank details were also altered.

Suspecting that Moodley was complicit in the forgery, Odell said he arranged to meet with her. Accompanied by her husband at the meeting, Moodley allegedly admitted that she was the holder of the account into which the money was deposited. She also said she had to “speak to her son”.

Odell said he had then advised staff to conduct an internal investigation into all transactions she was involved in.

On October 29, 2015 Moodley handed him a statement by her son containing an apology by him, as well as a statement by her.

He said she tried to absolve herself of any wrongdoing and implicated her son.

Subsequent investigations revealed she had allegedly created invoices in the names of companies that did not exist, which were paid into her or her son’s accounts.

In respect of some existing service providers, allegedly fictitious invoices were created in which the amounts due by the school were increased.

Her alleged modus operandi was for the money to be paid into her account, and for her to thereafter pay the service provider the sum due to them.

According to an expert valuation, it was estimated that after the bond on Moodley and her husband’s property was paid, that if it is sold a profit of around R240 000 could be realised.

She also allegedly owns a 2010 Hyundai motor car and furniture that could be sold.

Odell said if a trustee was appointed he or she could ensure that Moodley’s property and assets were realised to their true value for the benefit of creditors.

A trustee could also investigate all the circumstances surrounding the alleged theft and how the stolen money was used, as well as whether her husband and son had benefited and whether a claim could be made against them.

He said it could be possible that Moodley was concealing assets.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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