College accountant forges 204 cheques worth Dh15.7m, buys Marina house, flees Dubai

Fugitive channeled institute's money to his own accounts for a year

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced a fugitive accountant to five years in jail for forging 204 cheques of a government-owned college and stealing more than Dh15.7m between June 2010 and December 2011.

AD, 27, Indian, public servant who is at large and is being prosecuted in absentia, has also been ordered to return the stolen amount and fined an additional Dh15.7m.

According to the records, RH, 71, British, an administrative director, testified that the accused joined the college in 2005 and was responsible for preparing budgets and preparing monthly financial statements. He was also in charge of collecting school fees from students and handing them over to his assistant to be deposited in the bank account.

“Generally, in the month of July, the institute's bank account is audited to assess the financial status of the organisation. In July 2010, the college assigned an external auditor and AD was asked to supply statements and records. He claimed that he could not follow instructions because of a system failure and delayed the institute's auditing until November. However, when the system was checked, it was found working in proper order and so all needed documents were retrieved for auditing,” he testified.

The auditor found out that the accused had forged a number of cheques issued by the school in favour some organisations such as DEWA, DU and DHL. He forged the name of the beneficiary and issued them in his own name after getting the two signatures of senior officials in the college, according to the records.

The accused also made payment orders and issued cheques in his name without registering them in the records. Some of these cheques were handed over in exchange for cash and others were transferred to his account, testified JA, 64, the British accountant hired from the external auditing company.

“Initially we could not specify who committed these violations. But AD was later identified as we found out that a number of cheques issued by the college were in AD’s name and that he had received them or the money had been transferred to his account,” he testified.

The auditor reported that the accused embezzled a total of Dh16,208,406. However, the prosecution noted that the total amount was Dh15,773,946.

Immigration authority reported that the accused has left the country to go to Calcutta in India via Dubai International Airport on December 15, 2011.

Dubai Lands Department reported that AD owns a residential unit in Dubai Marina.

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

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