An accountant faces prison time for embezzling 300,000 euros

An accountant faces prison time for embezzling 300,000 euros

Opportunity makes the thief. That statement turned out to be very applicable to Lianne L. (58) in court in Den Bosch on Wednesday afternoon. She worked as an accountant for a company in Geldrop and was able to transfer more than 300,000 euros to her own accounts. “Sometimes I was afraid I would be arrested, but I kept working anyway.”

Leanne has worked at the company as a freelancer since 2011. When she was in a bit of a pickle in 2015 and saw that someone was contacting her about an incorrectly paid invoice, she saw the possibilities. “I noticed there was absolutely no control over such an incorrectly paid bill,” Leanne explained. So she began preparing the invoices herself and depositing the amounts into one of her ten accounts.

It worked fine for four years, but then the company sensed there was a problem. Lian was fired and the company has been trying to get his money back ever since. After deducting the sale of her house and cars, there is an amount of more than €200,000 left that still needs to be paid.

“I am forced to live with my mother again.”

Leanne deeply regrets her actions. “I've wasted my whole life,” she told the judges. “There is nothing left for me. I lost 53 kilograms, my husband left me and I have to live with my 87-year-old mother in Belgium again.”

Leanne was clearly nervous about the lawsuit and very emotional. But she publicly admitted that she had embezzled more than three thousand euros. Why she did this remained unclear. “Sometimes I was afraid I would be arrested, but I kept working anyway,” Leanne answered. According to her, simply because the opportunity was there and it was so easy.

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According to her, about half of the amount went to a Greek friend, “who was not having an easy time,” and she used the other half, for example, to expand her house and cars and spend holidays in far-flung places.

“I deserve to be punished.”

The woman currently pays €25 a month to the bailiff and will therefore never be able to pay the more than €200,000 that is still owed. She now works 24 hours a week for a company in Belgium. However, her old employer wants to try to recover full damages from the woman. The woman had already been ordered to repay in a civil proceeding, but because that doesn't happen quickly, Gildrop asked on Wednesday if the criminal court could make the woman repay the amount a little faster.

In addition to repayment, Leanne also feared the punishment the judicial system would demand from her. The officer did not hesitate: “Because of this sophisticated fraud that the woman has been carrying on for four years. It simply carries a prison sentence.

The public prosecutor requested that he be imprisoned for ten months. Lian was shocked and burst into tears. Her life is already hell and on top of that is a prison sentence? “I can't accept that,” she said. But she was also realistic: “I deserve to be punished.”

Her lawyer tried to convince the judges that community service was more than enough in this case.

The court will issue its ruling in this case on April 3.

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