Bookkeeper on fraud charges

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A YARN and textile import/export wholesaler in Jarrah Drive, Braeside, was almost driven out of business as a result of alleged repeated frauds by a former employee, Kingston police say.

Their investigations have uncovered what they allege is a long series of deceptions totalling more than $1.3 million against the company. 

Police claim the company’s former bookkeeper made 465 fraudulent transactions over eight years totalling $1.31 million. These were made up of transactions from as little as $100 to $4000.

They say the “previously well respected” bookkeeper “double dipped” invoices by paying money to herself as well as suppliers. These were not detected until auditors were called in to investigate irregularities with a view to winding up the business and “smelt a rat”.   

A 52-year-old woman, of Wheelers Hill, was arrested on 14 September and charged with the deceptions. She will appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court for a committal mention in January after having been released on strict bail conditions.

The accused was one of two full-time employees, and two directors, at the 13-year-old business.  She had worked there since 2005. 

Detective Senior Constable Carly O’Donnell said the business was going to close due to its poor financial situation.

“Although the figures never married up they were operating with international exchange rates which always fluctuate,” she said.

“The bookkeeper was always able to hide any discrepancies.”

She said the business is now profitable.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 7 October 2015

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