Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried a real estate broker accused of cheating a woman by issuing a dud cheque for $50,000 in 2013.
Judge Duch Soksarin identified the accused as Un Khemra, 38, deputy president of Sim Nimol Investment and Development Group Co Ltd in Chbar Ampov district’s Chbar Ampov I commune.
He noted that Mr Khamra was arrested on August 12. The accused was sued by Sok Sovannrithea, 65, president of Saving the Children of Cambodia Future Organisation and living in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district.
Ms Sovannrithea told the court yesterday that on September 15, 2013, Mr Khemra borrowed $20,000 from her in order to improve his real estate businesses in Kampong Chhnang province.
She noted that the accused promised to return the amount and also $5,000 in interest within 45 days.
Ms Sovannrithea told the court that Mr Khamra signed a contract and issued a cheque for $50,000 for her to keep as a guarantee.
“But after the 45-day deadline he did not have the money to repay me as promised,” she said. “For two months, I kept demanding repayment but he always asked for more time. I agreed because I trusted him.”
“When he still did not pay up, I went to cash the cheque, but he did not have any money in his bank account,” Ms Sovannrithea added.
She noted that after the cheque bounced, she asked Mr Khemra to repay her but he asked for more time and in July 2014 he went into hiding.
Ms Sovannrithea said she lodged the lawsuit against Mr Khemra at the municipal court on July 22, 2014.
Deputy prosecutor Soeu Longdy told the court that on March 28, 2017, the accused was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 15 months in jail.
He said the court also ordered him to pay $25,000 to Ms Sovannrithea and issued a warrant of arrest.
Mr Longdy noted that Mr Khemra was finally arrested by military police on August 12 this year when he returned to his home in Chbar Ampov I commune.
He said that after his arrest, the accused requested the court re-conduct his trial.
During yesterday’s hearing, Mr Khemra admitted committing the offence, saying that he did not have any money to repay the plaintiff.
“The plaintiff knew that I did not have any money in my bank account but persuaded me to issue the cheque to only keep as a guarantee,” he told the court. “I admit that I owe the plaintiff the money and I request the court to give me a lenient sentence and release me on bail so that I will be able to make money to repay her.”
Mr Khemra told the court that since his arrest his family had already paid $5,000 to the plaintiff.
A verdict is due on October 24.