Local News/22 March 2023,08:00am/Staff Writer
Sasolburg: A Christmas Eve money transaction was the beginning of the end for a Free State financial officer who stole millions from a company over six years.
Mareli Vogel, 58, who worked at the company in Sasolburg, stole R2.5m through fraudulent transactions from 2014-2020.
She was found guilty by the specialised commercial crime court in Sasolburg on 1,116 counts of theft.
Hawks spokesperson warrant officer, Fikiswa Matoti, said investigations into Vogel started when the owner of the business was notified by Absa Bank of a large amount of cash withdrawn from the business’ account on December 24 2019.
“An internal investigation was conducted by the business owner, where it was discovered that Vogel, who was the financial officer and the only person with access to the business’s online banking at the time, fraudulently transferred money from the business account to her personal account,” she said.
Matoti said the investigations found Vogel had done these fraudulent transactions from 2014 and stolen R2.5m from the company.
“An intense investigation by the team led to the successful conviction of Vogel who remained in custody since her arrest in September 2021, after a case was opened against her in January 2020.”
Matoti said Vogel will be sentenced on June 1.
Last year, the Pretoria commercial crimes court convicted a former Synexus financial manager, Aaron Tshwane Matsei for defrauding the company of more than R250,000.
In June 2021, Nicholas Scholtz, an accountant who stole R4.1m from a Western Cape municipality was convicted.
In February 2021, a former OR Tambo district municipality accountant, Nyameka Qongqo, was convicted of fraud, theft and money-laundering amounting to more than R9m.