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Money launderers breached employers trust: Judge Temo

September 18, 2018 5:06 am

After an eleven day trial, it took only 55 minutes for three assessors to declare two women guilty of laundering more than half a million dollars, and today the Suva high court Judge agreed with their decision.

Judge Justice Salesi Temo while convicting two former finance officers of Pacific Theological College of money laundering said tough sentences are needed as deterrent to such crimes.

The women were charged with laundering more than $582,000.

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Between June 2006 to February 2011, 42-year-old Rosheen Raj falsified documents and obtained more than $96,000 from the Pacific Theological College’s bank account

The other woman, 54-year-old Rine Sorby, committed the same crime paying herself more than $73,000 between June 2006 and February 2011.

Jointly, the pair also obtained more than $412,000 between March 2010 to November 2012, stolen money that has not been recovered to date.

Judge Temo said the women were greedy, breached the trust of their employer, hoodwinked their supervisors and stabbed their employer in the back.

The Defense in their sentencing submission requested lenient sentences of six years for Raj and five years for Sorby, while the Prosecution requested 12 years.

Judge Temo says jailing people for six years for such crime will only encourage Fijians whereas a decade imprisonment will serve as a warning for those that want to steal from their employers.

He also highlighted that of the pair, Rosheen Raj looked more like the main perpetrator who planned the entire crime while Rine Sorby only received the extra money that was deposited to her account.

However, her mistake was being silent about all these payments during the six year period the crime was being committed.

One of the mitigating factors were that they both had families to look after to which Judge Temo said they should have thought of this before committing the act because now their serious crime could mean they will be separated from their families.

The pair have been remanded in custody and they will be sentenced tomorrow.

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