Personal assistant admits to stealing R500k from her boss

Signet Cindy Ferry (Charles Pullen, Netwerk24)
Signet Cindy Ferry (Charles Pullen, Netwerk24)

Port Elizabeth - A 51-year-old personal assistant has admitted to stealing more than R500 000 from her employer, which she spent on a Cape Town holiday, buying Australian dollars and repairs to her and her ex's cars.

Signet Cindy Ferry on Tuesday admitted guilt in the Commercial Crimes Court in Port Elizabeth on charges that she stole a total of R556 928.15 from her employer, Netwerk24 reported.

Ferry, who was arrested last week, stole money from John Veltman and his company Sea Shadow Trade and Investment on several occasions between October 28, 2010 and May 28. She started working as Veltman's personal assistant in 2002.

In her plea Ferry says:

"I used the money for, among others, the purpose of:

* Payments into my personal bank accounts;

* Payments on my Woolworths credit card account;

* To pay for repairs to my own vehicle and that of my former boyfriend, Leigh Shepherd;

* To pay my domestic worker's monthly salary;

* Payment for paint, paint work, aluminium window frames, built-in cupboards, burglar bars, Trellidor gates and other construction on Mr Leigh Shepherd's house;

* Paying for my personal accommodation during a Cape Town holiday;

* To top up my salary;

* To buy foreign currency, especially Australian dollars;

* To pay for fuel for my private vehicle;

* For financing the sending of international items to Kelsey Shepherd, Leigh Shepherd's daughter, as well as Lauren Ferry, my own daughter; and

* Using blank cheques of Sea Shadow Trade and Invest - trading as N&S Projects - which Mr Veltman had signed for business emergencies and payments, to deposit money into my own bank accounts."

As Veltman's personal assistant, Ferry's duties included bookkeeping and handling bank transactions.

"In my capacity as personal assistant, I had access to all the internet passwords, the Nedbank internet passwords of the business account as well as Mr Veltman's personal account."

Ferry added that she stole the money from both Veltman and the business' accounts.

She will be sentenced on August 4.

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