A bookkeeper, accused of embezzling money from two different employers, appeared in a court in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Sakiena Paleker, 32, of Bonteheuwel, faces two counts of fraud and two of money laundering, involving altogether R1,329,209, and one of theft.

On the theft charge, she is alleged to have stolen office equipment that included a laptop from the second employer.

She appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

Her trial was to have commenced on Monday, but was rolled over to Tuesday due to an exceptionally heavy court roll on Monday. On Tuesday, however, the state prosecutor advocate Gertrude Magopeni had taken ill and the matter was postponed in her absence to July 18, for trial.

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According to the charge sheet, Paleker was first in the employ of the company D6 Technology, as financial manager.

The company sold web-based software that allowed schools and clubs to broadcast news feeds and information to parents who subscribed.

Paleker’s duties included administration, the monthly invoicing of subscribers, the filing of VAT returns, the management of payrolls and accounts, and debt reconciliation.

The State alleges that she had two FNB bank accounts, one Absa and one Nedbank.

The prosecutor alleged that Paleker fraudulently channelled R843 831 into her own accounts by giving her own bank details instead of the company’s, on invoices sent to clients. This forms the basis of the first fraud charge.

After leaving D6 Technology, she was appointed financial and office manager at the company Tonic South Africa.

Her main duties were managing payrolls and tax payments, and the issue of purchase orders.

It is alleged that she falsely informed the MD, Vincent Raffray, that the South African Revenue Services owed the company a R118,000 refund, but that the company first had to pay SARS R482, 378 in order to receive the refund. This alleged falsity forms the basis of the second fraud count.

It is alleged that when Raffray became suspicious of the tax payments, Paleker absconded, taking with her the office laptop, pastel files, a company bank card, office files and keys, and the user names and passwords for the company’s online banking and SARS e-filing.

This triggered an investigation, which revealed that she had allegedly channelled money supposedly paid to SARS, into her own bank account.

She was warned to appear in court again on July 18.

Author: ANA Newswire