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Municipal court tries former financier for fraud

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a man accused of defrauding a microfinance company where he worked out of over $90,000 last year.

Presiding Judge Yi Sokvuoch identified him as Kann Sovath, 28, a former employee at Funan Microfinance Company and living in Prampi Makara district’s Monorom commune in Phnom Penh.

Judge Sokvuoch said Mr Sovath was charged with fraud, forgery of documents and forgery of public documents. He faces between five to 10 years in jail if convicted.

She added that Mr Sovath was arrested on October 19 following a complaint filed against him by Hem Samnang, a representative of Funan Microfinance Company, which is located in Chamkar Mon district.

During yesterday’s hearing, Mr Samnang told the court that Mr Sovath started working at the company as a loan officer in January last year.

He said Mr Sovath would handle clients and prepare all necessary documents to submit to the company’s owner and chief of finance for a loan approval.

He said following an approval, Mr Sovath would then supervise each client and collect the loan fees, which need to be processed each month.

He added that between June and September last year, Mr Sovath created 78 fake clients and withdrew $93,900 from the company.

The company owner was notified of Mr Sovath’s activities in October, when staff noticed that Mr Sovath would always process the fees late every month. Various staff then started investigating and planned to meet Mr Sovath’s clients.

“But after we checked the 78 clients and inspected the addresses provided by Mr Sovath with local authorities, we found out that they were all fake identities created by Mr Sovath in order to steal money from the company,” Mr Samnang said.

“To find the truth and justice, in the name of the company, I would like to ask the court to punish Mr Sovath in accordance with the law,” he added. “I demand $93,900 for the losses and another $10,000 in compensation from him.”

Mr Sovath yesterday admitted committing the offence, saying that the fake identities and documents he submitted to the company for the loan approvals were prepared by his friend, Sarun Piseth, who he shared the money with.

Mr Sovath requested the court for a light sentence.

“I acknowledge my mistakes,” he said. “I promise that I will not commit the same mistakes again.”

“I would like to ask the court for a light sentence,” he added.

A verdict is due on September 11.

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