A BMW, a MINI Cooper and a holiday in Bali: Court details how bookkeeper lived the high life after stealing R2.5m from Centurion company

Published Mar 8, 2023


A 49-year-old Centurion bookkeeper has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment after she was found guilty of defrauding a company of R2.5 million.

During court proceedings, the State detailed how Dianne de Beer made payments into her personal bank account.

“De Beer was employed as a bookkeeper at Servopak Suppliers Pta CC from 2015. She started committing the offences in 2016, a year after her employment. Her duties included capturing supplier invoices, loading payments on the online banking facility and supplier reconciliation with supplier statements,” explained National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.

She said De Beer made 44 payments, meant for suppliers, to her bank account. Using the proceeds of the crime, she purchased a BMW for herself, a MINI Cooper for her daughter and funded her daughter’s holiday in Bali.

The NPA said De Beer also spent the money on clothing, groceries from large known retailers and entertainment.

Her high-flying antics were eventually sniffed out after suppliers demanded their payments.

Mahanjana said the company instituted internal investigations and reported the matter to police.

“She pleaded guilty to all the charges and told the court that she was remorseful for the actions and further asked for a non-custodial sentence. However, the magistrate found that De Beer pleaded guilty only because the State had a strong case against her and she had no defence for the charges,” Mahanjana said.

In aggravation, the State prosecutor asked the court to impose a custodial sentence, because De Beer committed a serious offence over a period.

The NPA said she stole an average of R72 000 a month for three years; she was therefore motivated by greed since she was employed at the time of the offence.

The magistrate agreed with the State that De Beer had no regard for her employer, as she used her knowledge about the company to steal. She stopped not because of her consciousness but because she was caught. Therefore, he found that direct imprisonment was the only appropriate sentence.

Mahanjana said the BMW 3 series bought by the proceeds of crime would be sold at an auction after the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained a confiscation order valued at R70 000, under section 18 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.