Employee ordered to reimburse $225,000 in misappropriated money

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Employee ordered to reimburse $225,000 in misappropriated money

The Supreme Court (Qld) has ordered a former employee of a technology company to repay over $225,000 in misappropriated moneys belonging to the company.

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The Supreme Court (Qld) has ordered a former employee of a technology company to repay over $225,000 in misappropriated moneys belonging to the company.

The court ordered the payment as damages for breach of contract by the employee who held a number of senior management positions with the business.

Background

The question to be determined in this case was whether or not the employee misappropriated money which belonged to the employer, Idea Technology Services Pty Ltd, and, if so, how much money was so misappropriated.

If money was misappropriated then the employer claimed that money as damages for breach of contract or as money had and received by the employee for the use and benefit of the company.

Alleged breaches

The alleged breaches were numerous - spanning over a number of years. Included in the alleged breaches were:

  • The employee failed to bank all moneys owing to the employer.
  • The employee failed to properly account to the employer for invoices sent to customers and moneys paid by customers.
  • The employee conducted and/or purported to conduct a business from the premises of the employer whilst with the company.
  • The employee placed orders on behalf of the employer when she was not authorised to do so.

The former employee submitted that she could not have stolen the amount of money alleged without people in Melbourne, who regularly reviewed the financial documentation, discovering the misappropriation. However, in the view of Justice Atkinson, she deliberately covered up her misappropriation of funds so as to make its earlier detection difficult.

Calculation of loss

Judgment was given in favour of the employer against the employee in the sum of $224,772.84 together with interest.

See: Idea Technology Services Pty Ltd v Nguyen [2002] QSC 432 (19 December 2002) - Atkinson J.

 
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