x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Accountant took Dh300,000 from her employer by forging cheques, court hears

An accountant for an Emirati-owned engineering firm forged cheques that she used to steal Dh300,000 in cash from her employer, a court heard.

DUBAI // An accountant is facing 24 charges of forgery and using forged documents to fraudulently obtain more than Dh300,000 in cash from her employer, a court heard this morning.

The Tunisian MA, 33, denied all charges before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance this morning.

"The prosecutors told me to confess," she told presiding Judge Hamad Abdul Latif.

Of her employer, she said, "He lodged another complaint against me with the same charges at the Bur Dubai police station, your honour."

Prosecutors charged MA with forging a number of cheques by changing the amounts and names of recipients on the documents, then submitting them to Umm Al Quwain bank and taking the money.

Records show that she allegedly added the number "4" to one of the cheques, thereby increasing the amount from Dh1,000 to Dh41,000. She added the number "1" to another cheque, changing the amount from Dh49,874 to Dh149,874, records show.

The other charges in prosecution records include forging the name of the recipient and the due dates.

Prosecutors said the crimes were committed between 2009 and 2011 during the defendant's employment at the engineering company owned by the victim identified as EA, 44, a UAE national.

EA testified that at the end of 2009, he hired the defendant as head accountant, and that he often signed cheques to her as the recipient because she used to handle withdrawals of money, then distributed the money for the various needs of the company.

He said that on May 8 last year, he received a phone call from Umm Al Quwain bank, Al Rafaa branch.

"They told me a cheque was submitted for withdrawal for Dh149,874, while I only wrote a cheque for Dh49,874," he said in court records.

EA said he immediately called the defendant, who was still at the bank, and she told him she wrote that number by mistake.

"One of my employees then called me and showed me cheques on which my signature was forged," he said in court records.

EA also told prosecutors that MA embezzled more than Dh600,000, not Dh300,000 as stated in records. He also said in court records that the crime had affected his business, eventually forcing him to let go of a number of employees and terminate contracts with other businesses.

RR, a general accountant at the same company, testified that the defendant had told him she used the money to pay off a debt she had back in Tunisia. The next hearing will be on April 2.