Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a businesswoman who allegedly issued a bad cheque to a friend to repay a $50,000 debt in the capital in 2017.
Judge Yi Sokvouch identified the accused as Pheng Mom, 52, a restaurant owner living in Daun Penh district’s Phsar Thmey I commune.
She identified the victim as Taing Socheath, 51, a property businesswoman living in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune.
Judge Sokvuoch said Ms Mom was arrested on May 7 last year and charged with issuing a bad cheque. She faces up to two years in jail if convicted.
She said that on November 6, 2017, the accused borrowed $50,000 from Ms Socheath, who was a close friend, to open two branches of her restaurant in the capital.
Judge Sokvuoch said both parties signed a contract where Ms Mom promised to repay the debt by December 6, 2017.
She noted that the accused issued a post-dated cheque for $50,000 so that Ms Socheath could withdraw the amount from her account with ACLEDA Bank on December 6.
“But when the victim went to withdraw the money, the cheque bounced because there was no money in the account,” Judge Sokvuoch said. “A few days later the victim tried to demand repayment, but the accused had fled and could not be contacted.”
She added that on April 8 last year, Ms Socheath filed a lawsuit against the accused at the municipal court and Ms Mom was arrested on May 7 by penal police from the Interior Ministry in accordance with a court warrant for her arrest.
At yesterday’s trial, Ms Mom admitted committing the offence, but claimed that she only received $10,000 from Ms Socheath.
She said that the reason why she did not repay the victim was because she did not have money as her business was facing a financial crisis.
“On the day I borrowed the money from her, I only took $ 10,000 but she forced me to issue a cheque for $50,000 as a guarantee,” Ms Mom told the court. “I trusted her so I issued it to her.”
“On the day of the deadline for repayment, I told her that I did not have any money in the bank yet but she took the cheque to cash it so that she could sue me and have me arrested,” she added.
Ms Mom promised to repay her debt and requested the court to release her from prison so that she would be able to earn the money.
A verdict is due February 13.