A former Finance Clerk with the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) was sentenced to two (2) years imprisonment in the Nausori Magistrates Court yesterday.
Adi Filomena Serau was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) last July with one (1) count of Obtaining a Financial Advantage.
She admitted to receiving cash payments made to TLTB and not depositing it into the account of her employer amounting to $12,174.90 FJD, which she used for herself.
This took place between June and December 2017. In delivering the Sentence, Resident Magistrate Mr. Shageeth Somaratne said that by committing this offence, the Accused breached the trust of her employer and the public who were depositing funds to the TLTB.
The Resident Magistrate also acknowledged that she pleaded guilty, was able to make restitution when asked by the Court to do so and cooperated with the investigation by giving full admissions in the Caution Interview.
Furthermore, he explained that though deterrence is paramount in breach of trust offences, considering the grounds of the case, he found that leniency needed to be given to the Accused to allow her a chance to reform. Therefore, the Resident Magistrate suspended the sentence for three (3) years.
FICAC is considering an appeal against the sentence on the basis that the sentence is not proportionate to the criminality of the Accused and manifestly inadequate