Cape Town - A pre-trial conference to expedite the trial of a man accused of defrauding his employer of R1.2 million was set by the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, Cape Town, on Thursday.

Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg scheduled the conference for February 28.

Michael Jason du Plessis, 35, former Conti Kitchen Cape Town branch manager, has been charged with 105 counts of fraud and one of money laundering. He was not asked to plead on Thursday.

Prosecutor Jacques Smith alleged that Du Plessis, from Kommetjie, duped Conti Kitchens' customers into paying deposits into his own bank account, for work done by the firm.

Du Plessis was the branch manager from February 2001, and allegedly defrauded his employer of R1 296 886 between March 2011

and November 2012.

According to the charge sheet, Conti Kitchens is owned by the couple Steven and Julia Pollard. One of Du Plessis's duties was to provide customers with written quotations for work to be done at their homes. He allegedly duped unsuspecting customers into paying deposits into his own account at Capitec, instead of the firm’s account at FNB.

The pre-trial conference was scheduled after a defence application for the withdrawal of the charges was rejected.

Sapa