Western Cape embezzler jailed

2013-05-29 21:59

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

Cape Town - A Western Cape woman was jailed for in effect eight years on Wednesday for embezzling R3.8m.

Celeste Gayle Harker, 45, an accounts administrator employed by Italian businessman Andrea Assirelli, was sentenced by the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on 404 counts of fraud, and one of money-laundering.

Although she faced the minimum 15-year jail sentence prescribed for a first-time offender found guilty of fraud involving R500 000 or more, the court found compelling circumstances for a lesser sentence.

Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg found Harker had a severe addiction to gambling, was a primary care-giver to her children, had pleaded guilty and was a first-time offender.

According to the charge sheet, Assirelli owned five close corporations and one company.

Harker’s duty for the six concerns involved the payment of creditors.

Prosecutor Juan Agulhas told the court Harker manipulated an electronic system to create fictitious service-providers for nearly three years, until being caught last February.

Bank staff had provided her with electronic passwords giving her access to the bank accounts of company creditors.

This enabled her to channel payments intended for creditors into her own account, and into the accounts of two friends.

Agulhas said the embezzlement had forced Assirelli to sell his luxury home and cars, and to close down one of his six business concerns.

Read more on:    cape town

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
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 24.com 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.