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Ah Liki worker jailed five years in Samoa on $84,000 theft

A woman from Puipa'a and Gataivai sentenced yesterday to five and half year’s imprisonment after being found guilty of hundreds of counts of theft is maintaining her innocence.Matila Tiatia, 29, a mother of three children was convicted to 472 charges for theft as a servant in just over a year, between May 2008 and July 2009.The amount of money involved was $84,322.24 Mrs Tiatia was an employee for Ah Liki Wholesale where she resigned from in 2007 and returned the next year at a higher salary rate.The thefts were committed with two other employees involving falsification of sales dockets, receipts, withholding money and false accounting.The two other defendants operated from different delivery vehicles and were unaware of the involvement of each other.Mrs. Tiatia was the central figure in the two schemes of fraudulent conduct.Both co-defendants pleaded guilty to their charges but Mrs Tiatia continues to deny the allegations.As mentioned by Justice Slicer in his ruling, “Matila did not return to work once the investigation commenced. She has made no apology and maintained her innocence, blaming the others for the crimes.”She also said that her husband approached the company but there has been no apology, and the court does not accept her claim that she did not take any money for her own personal benefit.According to a statement from the victim impact report, the company employs several hundreds of people and relies on the integrity of its employees.