DURBAN – A KWAZULU-Natal woman who defrauded her employer of R2.7 million has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment.
Charmaine Koch's sentence was handed down in the Durban Specialised Crimes Court after she pleaded guilty to 235 counts of fraud.
Koch worked as an administrator at Glendee Fertilizer and Lime CC in Dundee, where part of her job was to conduct the company's bookkeeping and uploading creditor payments and invoices to the company's online banking profile.
Spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in KZN, Natasha Kara, said Koch would prepare a schedule of the creditors needing payment and her manager would release the payments.
She Koch decided to defraud her employer after she and her husband ran into some financial woes.
“She decided to defraud her employer and changed the banking details of various creditors to her own banking details. She also used previous creditors invoices and created new ones which she submitted with her details for payment. The money went directly into her bank account. She did this from August 2012 to January 2017,” Kara said.
In February 2017, after returning from a holiday with her husband, she was advised that her employer had opened a fraud case against her. She did not return to work and was eventually arrested and taken to court.
The matter was successfully prosecuted by Senior State advocate, Ashika Haripersad.
The NPA welcomed this successful prosecution.
“The accused in this matter was placed in a position of trust yet she abused this trust and decided to defraud her employer, that too for five years. We hope that sentences of this nature are indicative of the NPA’s stance against these types of cases,” said director of Public Prosecutions in KZN, advocate Elaine Zungu.