Durban: A 41-year-old woman, who pleaded guilty to defrauding her employer of R8 million over eight years, will spend Christmas behind bars.
Yolandie Bartlett was convicted and sentenced in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.
The National Prosecuting Authority said Bartlett worked for Grindrod South Africa as a finance clerk. She committed the offences between May 2011 and May 2019.
“In defrauding the company, she would create and process fictitious payments. The monies were deposited into her personal bank accounts, using four different accounts,” said NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara.
“Bartlett was found out when she erroneously made a payment.
“The company paid bursaries to employees at a certain time of the year, and she processed a fraudulent payment for herself at the wrong time (under the title of bursary). The company hired a forensic investigator to look into the matter and her fraud was discovered.”
Kara said Bartlett maintained her innocence throughout the trial but decided to plead guilty when she realised there was overwhelming evidence against her.
Senior State advocate Abbey Letsholo told the court that Bartlett would have continued to steal from the company had she not been caught.
Bartlett surrendered her pension of approximately R352 000 to the company.
“The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) welcomes the successful prosecution and commends the investigative efforts that led to this,” Kara said.