Accountant admits forging cheques by adding ‘1’ on the left side of amount

Accountant has embezzled Dh656, 854 by forging cheques

A Tunisian accountant is facing 27 charges all related to embezzlement of approximately Dh656, 854 from her employer from 2009 to 2011, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.

In addition to embezzlement, MBS, 33, is accused of forging cheques and bonds.

Her employer, Ehab Ahmad Fathi, 44, businessman, Emirati, testified that he recruited MBS in his engineering office as accountant at the end of 2009.

“Due to work-related problems occurred between her and another accountant in the office, the later was terminated in February 2010. I retained MBS as she holds a higher degree than the other accountant. She was the only accountant in the office and was assigned to collect money from clients. I also used to issue cheques in her name to collect the money and pay salaries to engineers and staff as well as to dues of clients and pay for the office expenses.”

In early 2011, her employer asked her to prepare and submit a report on the previous fiscal year, but she delayed by excusing that she is overloaded.

On May 8, 2011, her employer received a call from Um Al Quwain National Bank enquiring whether he issued a cheque in the name of MBS worth Dh149,874.

Fathi told them that the cheque issued by him is of Dh49,874 value. After checking with MBS who was still in the bank, she apologised and insisted that he had mistakenly written the wrong figure. “Another bank employee called me and asked me to come to the bank. Seeing the cheque it was proved that she had added the figure ‘1’ on the left side of the amount and also added in letters ‘One hundred’ and forged my signature next to the changes,” he testified.

Confronting her with that she initially denied forging the signature and said that as she mistakenly wrote the figure ‘1’ she had to change that in letters to avoid embarrassment with the bank… Later she started begging to forgive her for the mistake,” he testified.

Checking the company’s records, Fathi found out that none of the cheques he had issued during MBS’s work in the company had a copy, so he had to check with the bank. It was proved that she used to add a figure on the left side of the amount and bring their values to tens of thousands and to amend that in letters. As well, she has stolen three blank cheques and wrote different amounts on them and collected them from the bank.

Fathi appointed an auditor who reported that Dh656, 854 were missing from the company account during the work of the accused.   

The accused admitted sealing but not more than Dh214,000 which she sent them back home to pay some debts and she still possess Dh25,000 which she returned to the company.

Fathi had to terminate services of some engineers for being unable to pay their salaries and said that he lost Dh1.4 million in profits.

MBS’s husband returned Dh50,000 to the company that he will pay the remaining amounts within a month, but later disappeared, the records show, testified legal consultant of an advocate office.

Ahmad Issa, 32, teller, testified that he did not check with the company to ascertain the authenticity of the cheques as they were all below Dh50, 000.

“Should they were above Dh50, 000 the issuer would be contacted,” he testified.

However, he testified that he does not remember if the cheques’ values were amended. Should they were amended then it should be signed by the issuer next to the changes. The signature is checked with that saved in the bank’s system.

The court will reconvene on April 9.

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