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Former GHC employee in court facing embezzlement charges

reporters@samoanews.com

A former employee of GHC Reid, Fuamoli Vaisagote made her initial appearance in the District Court on allegations that she took close to $5,000 from the company’s deposit bag.

Vaisagote is held on bail of $10,000 and is charged with embezzlement, a class C felony punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine of $5,000 a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000 or both fine and imprisonment.

According to the government’s case, a GHC Reid manager filed an official complaint against Vaisagote, at the police station on April 13, 2012, for stealing money from the company, a year before.

It’s alleged that on April 13, 2011 one of the manager’s of GHC Reid noticed that their company deposit of $24,972.58 had not been deposited into their company account the night before.

He contacted ASB-ANZ Bank to see if they had received the deposit and was told they could not locate any deposit matching that amount. The manager contacted the defendant – who was employed by GHC Reid as a company cashier at the time – if she had made the nightly deposit as part of her job duties, and the defendant said that she did.

Court filings say, for the next two days, the defendant did not show up to work, but showed up at the residence of the president of the GHC Reid. The defendant confessed to taking part of the deposit and admitted to hiding the deposit in the bottom of the safe.

The manager told police they were able to locate the deposit, but noticed that $4,850.10 in cash was missing out of the $24,972.58, which were the total proceeds from April 12, 2011.

Police spoke to the president of GHC Reid who said the defendant had shown up at her house confessing that she gave $3,000 to her friend who works at ASPA Procurement.

Court filings say, the president of the company instructed the defendant to meet her at the office the next day, and Vaisagote showed up and signed a promissory note admitting to her guilt and the funds she stole, promising to make restitution.

Company records revealed that actual sales of $24,972.58 were made on April 12, 2011. However, only $20,122.48 was recovered from defendant leaving a shortage of $4,850.10. Court filings say, per the promissory note, the defendant promised to repay $4,850.10 to GHC Reid in monthly increments. The government claims numerous attempts to locate and interview the defendant proved unsuccessful.

To date, the defendant has only made two payments on the promissory note to GHC Reid, totaling $110.

The defendant is scheduled to have her preliminary examination later this week. The PX hearing is for District Court Judge John Ward to determine if the government has sufficient evidence to have this case bound over to the High Court.

Vaisagote is represented by Assistant Public Defender Donna Clement and prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe.



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