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An Atlantis woman accused of defrauding her employer of R2 million allegedly used the money to buy doll’s house paraphernalia.
Julie Ann de Vigno, pictured, 50, made a brief appearance in the Cape Town Regional Court last week on charges of fraud.
De Vigno, who worked in the finance department at a Milnerton cleaning company, is alleged to have taken money to buy a host of items for a doll’s house and other personal goods.
De Vigno had allegedly bought, among other things, doilies, brass umbrella stands, gold candlesticks, statues and vases in June 2010.
The items bought, as listed in the charge sheet, filled 32 pages.
She was arrested on September 1 last year and released on a warning because she had no money to pay bail.
During a later court appearance, De Vigno said in her bail affidavit that she had repaid about R1.5m to the complainant after selling her house.
De Vigno said she wanted to settle the matter out of court, but when her brother, who intended to help repay the balance, could no longer keep his end of the deal, the complainant took the matter to court.
The State was not opposed to her release on bail as she had a fixed address, no criminal record and there was no fear she would evade her trial or tamper with evidence.
On Friday, De Vigno’s lawyer, Wynand du Plessis, asked that the case be postponed so he could finalise two aspects.
Du Plessis said he was in the process of writing to the director of public prosecutions to have the charges against De Vigno changed, with the intention to enter into a plea and sentence agreement.
“My client has co-operated, but I am still awaiting psychological reports before we can proceed with the (plea agreement). The defence is 90 percent of the opinion that this case isn’t going to go on trial,” Du Plessis said.
State prosecutor Cecil Engel had no objection to the case being postponed one last time. De Vigno was released on a warning and is due back in court on August 29.
In March, the Cape Argus reported on a similar case of a domestic worker who allegedly stole her employer’s life’s savings of nearly R1m to buy a house and car, among other things.
Linda Mabhengu had worked for Harold Manus for six years.
For 20 years Manus saved his hard-earned money to ensure that his family would be secure if anything happened to him.
He stored it underneath a pile of linen in a kist – a gift his wife received for her 21st birthday – in the bedroom of his Plattekloof home. Only he and his wife knew it was there.
However, not a cent of his savings remained and Mabhengu had been accused of stealing it.
In papers before the Western Cape High Court, Manus claimed there was R900 000 in the kist.
However, Mabhengu told police after her arrest that she stole only R150 000. She said she used it to buy a house in Delft and a red Fiat Uno.
Last year, the Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained a Western Cape High Court order allowing it to attach the car and house she had bought. These are under the control of a court-appointed curator, pending the case’s outcome.