A 30 month sentence was given to the former Estate and Trust Officer of the Fiji Public Trustee Corporation Limited in the Suva Magistrates Court today.
Ms. Melaia Senimolau was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with 13 counts of Obtaining a Financial Advantage amounting to FJD $15,116.90 over a two (2) year period.
She pleaded guilty to these counts and admitted to falsely recording the amount of money received as payment on the receipts and pocketing the remaining.
Resident Magistrate Mr. Asanga Bodaragama said that given the tariffs set and the nature of her offences, imprisonment was warranted.
Furthermore, he stated that her crimes were clearly planned out, pre-meditated and it exploited the vulnerability of her clients who had no expert knowledge of probate matters and preparing wills.
Moreover, the Resident Magistrate had considered the early guilty plea and also added that though first offenders like the Accused earned discounts in sentencing, she was being sentenced for a crime committed in violation of the trust placed on her by the Government and the general public, and thus received no discount for past good behaviour.
A sentence of two (2) years and six (6) months with a non-parole period of two (2) years was set.