HomeThe Big StoriesFormer supermarket employee sentenced for pocketing cash from ‘fake refunds’

Former supermarket employee sentenced for pocketing cash from ‘fake refunds’

By Latrishka Thomas

Latrishka.thomas@antiguaobserver.com

A 26-year-old woman who scammed her employer of $10,582.95 was ordered to repay all of the money she siphoned off through fake refunds, and spend more than a year on probation.

Janalee Jackson was a cashier at Chase Distributors Ltd when it was discovered that she had been stealing from the establishment by making fake refunds.

She took advantage of the supermarket’s point of sale system to steal the money.

After being on trial in the High Court for a few days — where Justice Ann-Marie Smith was the sole adjudicator — the Gray’s Farm resident was found guilty of larceny by servant on July 1.

Jackson committed the offence between December 3, 2018 and January 17, 2019.

During that time, the system would indicate that certain items had been refunded, although there was no actual customer, and then she would take the cash for herself.

Jackson was using other employees’ codes to authorise the refunds, even those who were not on duty or were no longer employed by the supermarket.

Typically, refunds are issued by a supervisor on duty who is called by the cashier to swipe a card or punch a code to authorise the refund.

Then, the refund slip is signed and stays in the cashier’s till until the end of the shift, when it is handed over to a supervisor.

Discrepancies were noticed by a supervisor who started working at the Factory Road establishment in December 2018.

While going through the records in January 2019, she noticed a large amount of refunds had been done by Jackson.

Upon investigating, she discovered that there were no refund slips to match the transactions.

Yesterday, before Jackson was sentenced, the court heard from Elfreda Henry who testified as to Jackson’s good character.

She said that she has known Jackson for over 12 years and is a close friend of her mother.

She described the accused as being quiet and kind, and that “she never got into problems”.

Jackson’s lawyer, Lawrence Daniels, then mitigated for his client to receive a non-custodial sentence.

He told the court that she has an unblemished record and is “neither disruptive nor disorderly”.

Daniels also claimed that “the incident brought out a tremendous embarrassment, not only to the accused but to her family, other relatives and friends”, and she would not “be able to occupy any employment to which she would be in any position of trust”.

He also relayed his client’s remorse to the court.

 Justice Smith then placed the woman on 18 months’ probation and ordered her to pay $4,500 to the supermarket forthwith, and $1,000 at the end of every month starting from September, until the monies are repaid in full.

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