Fraud: clerk to pay up

2015-12-10 09:30
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Pietermaritzburg - A former Voortrekker High School accounts clerk was found guilty of defrauding the school by funneling payments meant for creditors to her own bank account.

Allette de Meyer (54), from Mount Michael, who worked at the Afrikaans medium school for over 20 years, pleaded guilty to 42 counts of fraud amounting to R108 794.

De Meyer was noticeably nervous and complaining of back pain. She stood alone in the dock in the empty Regional Court 8 at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

At one stage she only nodded her head when asked a question before being told to speak.

The woman, who has a small stature and blonde hair styled in a bob, said in a diminutive voice “guilty”, when asked by Judge Mishi Singh how she would plead.

“Do you plead to all charges?” asked Singh to which De Meyer said “Yes”.

The seasoned and trusted staffer, ­between May 2014 and April 2015, deliberately omitted to pay the school’s accounts 39 times and instead deposited the combined R103 344 into her own bank account.

On a further two offences she misled the school into believing she had bought new books from retailer Exclusive Books but instead she pocketed the R5 450 set aside for the purchase.

In her section 105A agreement — which allows an accused to plead guilty and avoid prison providing they pay back the money — it said the “accused actions were done with the intent to defraud”.

According to the agreement, De Meyer is expected to pay back all the money by December 15. She was also handed a five-year wholly suspended sentence.

Judge Singh said if the conditions were not met “the matter would need to reappear before the court”.

Although she declined an interview after sentencing, De Meyer, while still standing in the dock, asked The Witness journalist in the courtroom not to publish an article in order to protect her family.

De Meyer’s lawyer Martin Krog remarked in court that this was the “quickest section 105A” he had ever been part of.

The case was wrapped up in a matter of nine days after she was arrested on November 30.

According to court records, the investigating officer was Sergeant Christo van Tonder of the Hawks Commercial Crime unit.

Prosecutor Mariam Aboobaker acknowledged that the state believed the sentence was “fair and just”.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  fraud

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