Woman sentenced for committing R8 million fraud against employer

A Durban woman has been sentenced to an effective 12 years in jail for committing fraud against her employer in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court last week week.

Yolandie Bartlett, 41, was sentenced to an effective 12 years imprisonment in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crimes Court after she was convicted of fraud amounting to R8 million. 

Bartlett had previously worked for Grindrod South Africa as a finance clerk when she committed the offences over a period of several years between May 2011 and May 2019.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson for KwaZulu-Natal, Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, said that Bartlett had created fictitious payments in order to commit fraud to steal the funds from the company.

“In defrauding the company, she would create and process fictitious payments, the monies were deposited into her personal bank accounts, using four different accounts,” she said.

Fraud discovered after she made a payment ‘in error’

“Bartlett was found out when she erroneously made a payment. The company paid bursaries to employees at a certain time of the year, and she processed a fraudulent payment for herself at the wrong time, under the title of bursary. The company hired a forensic investigator to look into the matter and her fraud was discovered,” Ramkisson-Kara said.

“She maintained her innocence throughout the trial but decided to plead guilty when she realised there was overwhelming evidence against her,” she added.

Senior State Advocate, Abbey Letshol, told the court that Bartlett would have continued to steal from the company had she not been caught. 

Bartlett surrendered her pension of approximately R352 000 to the company following the fraud investigation. 

“The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)  welcomes the successful prosecution and commends the investigative efforts that led to this,” she said.

The conviction is the latest in a series of white collar crimes committed against employers by financial clerks and other staff members across the country.

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