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Man appeals against jail and fine meted out by court over embezzlement

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
The Appeal Court is hearing Kann Sovath’s appeal. KT/Chor Sokunthea

A former loan officer, jailed six years and fined for embezzling more than $90,000 from a microfinance company using forged douments in 2018, yesterday admittted committing the offence during his hearing in the Appeal Court.

Kann Sovath, 28, told the court that a friend named Sarun Piseth, who is at large, helped him forge the documents used in the fraud.

He added that he shared the money with Piseth.

Presiding Judge Sin Visal said during yesterday’s hearing that the convict was a former loan oficer of  Funan Microfinance Company.

He said the company hired Sovath in January 2018 to manage client loan documents and submit them to Funan’s  finance department chief for approval.

Sovath was also in charge of collecting money from clients, and depositing it in the company account every month.

“Between June and September 2018, Sovath used fake client names, photos, addresses, family books and ID cards to take out loans,” Mr Visal said. “He used 78 false clients and withdrew a total of $93,900 from the company.”

The owner of the company found out about the crime in October 2018 after he became suspicious of Sovath’s activities and investigated him.

“After the company’s senior staffers conducted a check and inspected the 78 clients, the company found out they were ‘ghost clients’ set in place by Sovath to steal money from the company,” Mr Visal said.

“The company representative then lodged a police complaint against Sovath,” he added. “It led to Sovath’s arrest on October 19, 2018.”

Mr Visal said that in September last year, Phnom Penh Municipal Court in September found Sovath guilty of “fraud, forgery of document and forgery of public document” under Articles 377, 378, 629 and 630 of the Criminal Code.

He said Sovath was sentenced to six years in prison and told to pay $93,900 in restitution and about $10,000 in damages to a company representative.

A verdict is due March 18.

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