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Trio faces fraud charge

22 July 2014
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A woman who allegedly obtained more than $150,000 from her employer under false pretences in 2008 is now facing the court.

Malia Katalake, 30, a Gilbertese is facing a total of 55 counts in relation to fraudulent falsification, false pretences and embezzlement.

She is co-accused with her husband Peter Rockson, 30, of Lord Howe, Malaita Outer Island and twenty nine year-old Junior Morris Bolas from Choiseul.

Rockson faces four counts of receiving and soliciting while police are yet to lay charges against Bolas.

Katalake was the plant manager for the Solomon Tropical Products (STP) at that time of the alleged offending.

Her responsibility was for receiving copra from local farmers, scaling and writing on receivable company document (copra inspections and payment forms) for farmers who came from the province.

Rockson was not an employee of Solomon Tropical Products but was responsible for the collection of payments and cashing cheques to the bank while Bolas was employed as a floater.

Bolas was responsible for negotiating copra from the farmers who came from the province.

It was alleged that between January 1, 2008 and June 21, 2008 Malia and Bolas made up false copra payments sheet under the ghost name Sisi David and fraudulently withdrawn a total of $152,570.80 from the company.

Police alleged Malia was the master mind of the company scandal and she at her own discretion before submitting to the office receptionist to have them calculate and raise the payment according to what names appear on the copra sheet.

Most payments were alleged to have been done on cheques at the National Bank of Solomon Islands now the Bank of South Pacific and Malia and Bolas were the ones who collected and cashed the cheques at the Bank.

The matter was reported to police by the complainant John Vollrat who is the general manager of the Solomon Tropical Products, a company that deals with local farms by purchasing, processing and exporting of copra.

The matter came before the court yesterday but was further adjourned to August 18.

The long adjournment was made by Principal Magistrate Shepherd Lapo yesterday to prepare and provide disclosures to the defence and to lay charges against Bola.

Only Katalake was present in court in court as Rockson was sick.

Anderson Kesaka of Public Solicitor’s Office is representing Katalake.

By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN

 

 

 

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