Cashier sentenced to 5-year for defrauding employer of N64. 4m

The Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja has sentenced cashier, Tunde Abdulramon, to five years’ imprisonment for his employer’s N64,420,900 to marry a new wife and also for opening the same kind of his employer’s business for his new wife.

Justice Raliat Adebiyi who handed down the sentence also ordered the convict to make restitution by returning all the properties he bought while in his employer’s establishment and also the money that he stole.

The convict was arraigned on August 19, 2013, on 11 counts which bordered on stealing and fraudulent false accounting, preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The offences committed contravened Sections 390 and 335 (d) of the criminal laws of Lagos State 2003.

Abdulramon’s duty as the cashier of Prime Grocers International Limited, a company selling wholesale and retail consumer goods located in the Oke Arin area of Lagos State, was to collect payments for invoices raised by sales representatives from customers, document them in his cash register and then lodge monies collected into the company’s designated bank account.

The convict, instead, was accused of deleting the invoices and diverting large sums of money paid by customers and lodgers until the company’s managing director discovered the fraud in 2012 after an audit of the computer software was collected following a tip-off that the convict had been deleting invoices.

Abdulramon committed the offences between January 2009 and 2012, when he was discovered to be defrauding his employer.

During the trial, the prosecution called six witnesses, including the complainant, Constance Obi, who told the court that she met the convict in 2002 when the company started importing goods for distribution.

She told Justice Adebiyi that Abdulramon was one of the casual labourers who discharged goods from the container, but that in 2004, he approached her for assistance and then he was permanently employed at the company.

The witness testified that the convict’s duty in 2004 included picking and packing goods for customers before he was promoted to a cashier.

Obi further testified that she received an anonymous call in November 2012, telling her to check the cashier in her store, Tunde Abdulrahmon, as he is a criminal because of some properties that he recently acquired, vehicles, and a new wife.

She also told the court that three days after she received the call, the convict came to her office to tender a resignation letter, which she refused to collect.

The complainant stated that it was thereafter that she checked the computer’s audit trail that filtered the convict’s identification and printed out a report that showed that he had been deleting invoices.

But the convict in his defence denied the allegations against him.

Delivering her judgment, Justice Adebiyi found the convict guilty.

She held that the evidence was that the complainant was unshaken and the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the convict altered the company’s record.

The judge held that the convict was the mastermind in the deleting of all the invoices and diverting payments made by customers to both his personal and business accounts.

“Abdulramon took advantage of the level of the trust reposed by the chief executive officer of the company (complainant), the offence was also committed continuously and repeatedly for over a period of four years.

“The court finds the level of culpability of the convict to be high; as regards the harm caused, the court finds that the acts of the convict ought to have caused a degree of significant economic loss to his employer although the employer appeared not to have realised this for four years.

“The amount stolen was of significant value and the convict was also involved in conducting a similar kind of business to that of his employer, whilst still in employment therefore creating a conflict of interest,” the judge held.

“Tunde Abdulramon is hereby sentenced on counts one to nine, to two and half years and counts 10 and 11 two and half years, to run concurrently,

“The court hereby orders the disposal of properties acquired by the convict that was acquired with proceeds of the offence and payment of proceeds to the complainant,” Justice Adebiyi held.

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