Dubai college accountant forged fee cheques

An accountant allegedly forged 204 cheques issued by a government-owned college and stole more than Dh15.7 million from June 2010 to December 2011, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.

AD, 27, Indian, had fled the county and was being prosecuted in absentia.

RH, 71, British, Administrative Director, testified that the accused joined the college in 2005 and was responsible of its accounts, budgets and monthly statements of collected fees and expenditures. He was also in charge of collecting fees from students and handing them over to his assistant to deposit them in the college’s bank account.

“In July, we audited the college’s accounts to know its financial status. In July 2010, the college assigned an external auditor and AD was asked to supply statements and records to the auditor. He claimed that he could not do that because of a system failure and delayed auditing till November. Upon checking the system, it was proved to be operating, so all documents were retrieved for auditing,” he testified.

The auditor found that the accused had forged a number of cheques issued in the name of public and private service institutions such as Dewa, du and DHL. He forged the name of the beneficiary and put his own name after getting signatures of  senior officials in the college, according to the records.

The accused also made payment orders and issued cheques in his name without recording them or having any supporting documents for the expenditure. Some of these cheques were encashed and others were used to transfer funds to his account, testified JA, 64, British, accountant with the external auditing company.

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

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

Officials at the immigration authority informed the court that the accused had left the country for Calcutta, India, via Dubai International Airport on December 15, 2011.

Dubai Land Department said that AD bought a residential flat in Dubai Marina on August 2, 2011 and he was the owner till March, 2012.

The Court will reconvene on November 8.

Image from shutterstock

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