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Cheating banker jailed

By Nat Molomo

MASERU — A former Nedbank Lesotho worker could spend the next six years behind bars after he was convicted of defrauding the bank’s depositors.

Tankiso Liphoto, 33, who has since been dismissed by the bank for being a thief, was on Tuesday convicted by magistrate Molemo Monethi after she pleaded guilty to 16 counts of fraud involving depositors’ funds.  

Liphoto, who was employed as a schemes officer in the external sales division of the bank, admitted to withdrawing M87 705.36 from clients’ accounts before she was caught.

According to the prosecution the accused fraudulently took or transferred monies from customers’ accounts, deposited it into the accounts of some people before withdrawing the cash for her personal use.

“She would then fill withdrawal slips or vouchers under the pretext that monies were being withdrawn by the owners of those accounts,” said the prosecution.

In mitigation, Liphoto told the court that she had already forfeited her benefits to the bank, which had gone towards reimbursing the people she had defrauded.

Magistrate Monethi had initially sentenced Monethi to 12 years in prison but he suspended half the sentence on condition that she does not commit a similar offence in the next five years. The magistrate also gave her an option to pay a M6 000 fine to escape jail.

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