Fraudster deserves prison, court hears

2014-11-24 22:32

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

Cape Town - Correctional supervision involving a short imprisonment and a suspended prison sentence were "inappropriate" punishment for a mother who embezzled R9m, the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court heard on Monday.

Mymona Creighton, 31, mother of four, was the accountant with the Raya Hotel group, owner of the Capetonian Hotel in Cape Town and the Balmoral in Durban.

She faces a minimum of 15 years' imprisonment for fraud involving R9m.

She appeared before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, who required a probation report to determine whether Creighton was the primary care giver for her children, aged between 7 and 18.

The court also needed to know if any family members were able to care for the children if Creighton were jailed.

Creighton is to be sentenced, probably on Tuesday, for 234 counts of fraud involving R9 687 677.

Prosecutor Simon Leope told the court Creighton had no defence to the charges, and that the minimum sentence was applicable.

The probation report would determine whether there were substantial and compelling circumstances justifying a less severe sentence.

Creighton, who has only a matriculation exemption certificate, started with the group 10 years ago as the assistant to the accountant, and seven years later was promoted to the post of group accountant.

She was based at the head office in Cape Town.

Creighton pleaded not guilty to the charges, and conducted her own defence.

She told the court she was "guilty to a certain degree", and disputed the number of charges and the amount involved.

Asked how much was in fact involved, she replied: "I have no idea."

Creighton was caught out when she presented a cheque for payment to CEO Moegamat Latief, with the name of the payee written faintly in pencil.

This triggered an investigation, which revealed that a number of cheques were missing, and that bills that should have been paid, had not.

The probation report recommended direct imprisonment, on the basis that the embezzlement happened over a prolonged period, during which Creighton had ample time to reflect on her wrongdoing and stop.

Creighton’s former brother-in-law told the court his brother had been an abusive husband and father, and that the children would not be happy living with their father.

He said the children were "very attached" to their mother, and it would break them to be separated from her.

Although his mother was willing to care for the children, this was not possible as she was aged and in any event had to move out of her current dwelling soon as it was sold.

The case continues.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fraud  |  crime

Join the conversation! 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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 network.


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.