A former sales supervisor and an office manager of Toolsie Persaud Limited were slapped with more than 100 charges of fraud. They are accused of defrauding the company of more than $48.4M.
The two defendants are Neffeesa Hafeez, 39, of 58 Parker Street, Providence, East Bank Demerara; and Pamdeswar Singh, 35, of 80 Ocean View, Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara. They were slapped with multiple charges ranging from conspiracy to defraud to stealing a quantity of articles from the company.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges read to them by acting Chief Magistrate Melissa Robertson. The charges alleged that the two had begun defrauding the company since 2007, and continued until mid last year, when a “general audit” was conducted.
According to attorney-at-law, Vic Puran, who represented both defendants, Hafeez is married, with two children, and Singh is married, but childless. The lawyer explained that Hafeez was a former sales supervisor for the company and that she worked in that position for the past eight years. Singh was office manager for the company.
Puran further told the court that both defendants were charged since last year June, and were each placed on $200,000 station bail. The lawyer explained that his clients were told to report to the police station every day. This was later modified to twice weekly.
The lawyer said that both clients have reported more than 200 times to the police station.
Puran said that they both pose no flight risk, since they have lodged their passports with the police. The lawyer said that both defendants were told since last week that that they would have been charged “yesterday,” but nevertheless reported to the police station.
Puran explained that he knows for a fact that it is practically impossible for anyone to leave Toolsie Persaud with anything that is not paid for. He contended that it is even more difficult for his client to take through the door the articles that were allegedly taken from the company.
Police Prosecutor Denise Griffith did not object to bail. She told the court that “bail is not a punishment” but acts as surety.
She confirmed that both defendants were reporting to the police station since last year. The prosecutor said that the monies were discovered missing when the company did an internal audit.
Bail was granted to Neffeesa Hafeez in the sum of $6M, and Pamdeswar Singh was granted bail in the sum of $1M. The two are expected to make their next court appearance today.
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