By NZ Herald on Wednesday, 11 October 2017
An accountant who pleaded guilty to stealing $183,000 from his employer had his sentence appeal dismissed and will receive his full prison sentence.
Sunil Prasad was charged with accessing a computer system and thereby obtaining property by deception and without claim or right after he stole $183,000 from his employer over an 11 month period.
Prasad gained access to his employer's computer system and used it to transfer funds into his own bank account under the guise of paying bogus invoices that he had concocted, taking steps to conceal the actions.
The employer managed to recover roughly $5000 by withholding a final payment that was due, and Prasad also paid back roughly $5600 when his employer discovered the theft, making the total losses approximately $172,000.
During the course of his offending the amounts Prasad stole varied, the highest being $36,000 and the smallest about $5000. In total, over 13 and a half months, he stole about $183,000.
"You put it into your bank account and you now say that because of a gambling addiction it is all gone," Judge Gus Andree Wiltens said at sentencing on June 13.
In total Prasad attempted to steal funds from his company on 26 occasions. He was successful 25 times.
Prasad was in a senior position at the company, where other staff members were reportedly "scared" of him.
On the day of sentencing, Prasad's counsel asked the judge for an adjournment so he could explore the option of attending a restorative justice meeting with his employer. The Judge ruled out the restorative justice process saying it did not apply in respect of a corporate complainant or victim.
During the appeal, Prasad's counsel said the restorative justice conference might have produced a positive outcome, with Prasad making an offer of reparation. However, Prasad was unable to make an lump sum offer and accepted that payment by instalments would be impracticable because of his custodial status.
The appeal Judge said the sentence itself was not excessive, but noted the starting point 45 months imprisonment was towards to top end of the range.
Source: NZ HERALD
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