Hotel group accountant in court

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Cape Town - A woman accused of defrauding the Raya Hotel Group, owners of the Capetonian Hotel in Cape Town and the Balmoral Hotel in Durban, appeared in court on Thursday, charged with multiple counts of fraud and one of money laundering.

She was not asked to plead.

Mymona Creighton, 31, started with the group 10 years ago as the assistant to the accountant and was promoted to the post of accountant seven years later.

She was based at the head office in Cape Town.

An attempt at plea negotiations with the State collapsed in September, and during Thursday’s proceedings, prosecutor Simon Leope said the matter would proceed to trial on January 20.

However, he needed clarity from the defence about what was in dispute, in order to decide which prosecution witnesses to call.

Creighton appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, who warned her to appear in court again on January 20.

She was responsible for the payment of the group’s creditors, and had to present cheques for payment to the group’s management for signature.

Leope alleges that she either deleted or changed the details of the payees of cheques, after payment had been authorised by management.

It is alleged that the cheques would then be made payable to fictitious persons, and the proceeds channelled into Creighton’s personal bank accounts.

To cover her tracks, Creighton would allegedly record the correct cheque details on a management payment schedule, but would intercept and destroy the bank-processed cheques when they arrived back from the bank.

In this manner, Creighton was accused of eliminating evidence of her manipulation, and misappropriating the money.

Leope alleges that she concealed the payments, and used fictitious names to hide the true nature of the fraudulent payments.

Creighton faces 250 counts of fraud involving R10,263,813, and one charge of money laundering.

Sapa


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