The 36-year-old president of a well-known international travel agency went on trial in Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for cheating clients out of $270,000.
Ros Sothirath is accused of defrauding customers who purchased air tickets through her company in Phnom Penh’s Daun Penh district.
Judge Leang Samnath said Ms Sothirath was arrested by municipal military police in February, in line with complaints made by 74 people.
According to court documents, the victims purchased air tickets worth $270,000 from Ms Sothirath, the owner of the Rath International Travel Company.
But when they tried to check in at Phnom Penh International Airport on the day of their scheduled departures, airline staff informed them their tickets were invalid.
The victims later asked the suspect for their money back, but she was unable to refund them, so they filed the complaints to municipal police for intervention.
At her trial, Ms Sothirath admitted being responsible, but told the court she was unable to refund the victims because her company’s finance manager Ngeth Sotheary had stolen more than $100,000 from her.
“I would like to ask the judge to reduce my sentence and release me so that I will be able to earn money to refund the plaintiffs,” she said.
The verdict in the trial is due on October 25.
In a separate case, Ms Sothirath was in August convicted to one year in prison by the municipal court for issuing a bad cheque worth $29,000 to the owner of the China Town Hotel in Daun Penh district.
The plaintiff Ngor Kav said she owed him money for hotel rooms provided to her clients but never paid him, before issuing him with seven cheques earlier this year, all of which bounced.