Waiter reportedly stole millions from restaurant and spent it on ‘booze and women’

2018-11-16 14:08
Restaurant. (Photo: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

Restaurant. (Photo: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

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A waiter has gone on trial on suspicion of having stolen more than €290 000 (R4,6 million) from the restaurant he worked for and then splurging it on a lavish lifestyle.

The suspect, only identified as Tom M, recently appeared in court in the Belgian city of Bruges.

According to public prosecutors, the 41-year-old allegedly stole the money from the till of the restaurant De Oesterput in the coastal resort of Blankenberge, where he worked as a waiter.

In September 2016 the restaurant’s accountant told the owner that large sums of money had gone missing.

An investigation was launched and CCTV footage reportedly showed that in two weeks Tom had stolen €800 (around R12 000).

According to the indictment the waiter’s robbery spree began in 2004 when he started taking small amounts from the cash register.

The restaurant owner’s lawyer, Daphne Dumery, said Tom spent the money on a lavish lifestyle, splurging up to €2 000 (around R32 000) a month on restaurant meals.

"He was showing off everywhere and bragged about it on social media," Dumery said.

“After the break-up from his wife he spent most of the money on booze and women,” the public prosecutor added.

According to the prosecutor’s office Tom, who now lives in Majorca, Spain, also used the money to travel to Thailand on numerous occasions. He also lost thousands gambling.

But the defendant’s lawyer, Dirk Vandamme, said his client stole only €15 000 (around R24 000) and that he didn’t at all live an exuberant lifestyle.

“[Tom] didn’t spend the amounts which are mentioned here,” Vandamme said.

“When he travelled to Thailand he always searched for the cheapest tickets and in restaurants, he always ordered the house wine.”

Vandamme said the money that had gone missing from the till could be explained in a number of other ways, including money laundering.

“By blaming my client for everything, he [the restaurant owner] can explain the missing money to the tax authorities.”

Restaurant

The restaurant’s owner admitted in court that he’d been in trouble with tax authorities in 2012, but insisted that since then the restaurant finances has been in order.

The public prosecutor’s office has demanded a two-year-long prison sentence. The court is set to rule on 17 December.

Source: Magazine Features

Pictures: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA

Read more on:    belgium
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