The Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has handed down a five-year prison sentence to Tunde Abdulramon, a former cashier, who defrauded and embezzled a staggering N64,420,900 from his employer.
The verdict comes after it was revealed that the cashier had utilized the stolen funds to marry a new wife and even set up a competing business for his spouse, leaving his employer in financial turmoil.
Court ordered full return of defrauded money
Justice Raliat Adebiyi, presiding over the trial, also mandated that Abdulramon make full restitution by returning all the assets he had acquired during his time with the company, along with the stolen money.
Abdulramon faced charges dating back to August 19, 2013, where he was accused of committing 11 counts of theft and fraudulent accounting, as per the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
How he was caught and arrested
In his role as a cashier at Prime Grocers International Limited, a wholesale and retail consumer goods company situated in the Oke Arin area of Lagos State, Abdulramon’s responsibilities included collecting payments from customers and ensuring the money was duly deposited into the company’s designated bank account.
However, instead of fulfilling his duties faithfully, he engaged in a systematic scheme of deleting invoices and diverting substantial sums of money for personal gain, all while his employer remained unaware.
The fraudulent activities transpired between January 2009 and 2012. During the trial, the prosecution called upon six witnesses, including the complainant, Constance Obi, who provided crucial insights into Abdulramon’s history with the company and his fraudulent actions.
The turning point came when Abdulramon attempted to resign, an action Obi refused to accept. In response, she conducted a thorough audit of the company’s computer software, which revealed the extent of the cashier’s deception, including the deletion of invoices.
Despite Abdulramon’s denials during the trial, Justice Adebiyi found him guilty. The judge emphasized the level of trust that had been breached and the significant economic loss inflicted upon the employer over four years.
The convict’s actions were deemed to be of high culpability, especially as he simultaneously engaged in a competing business while still employed by his original employer, creating a severe conflict of interest.
In her verdict, Justice Adebiyi sentenced Abdulramon to two and a half years for counts one to nine and an additional two and a half years for counts 10 and 11, to run concurrently. She further ordered the disposal of assets acquired with the proceeds of the crime, with the proceeds to be returned to the complainant.
The judgment serves as a stark reminder that financial misconduct by employees will not be tolerated, and those who engage in such actions will face the full weight of the law.
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