CS cashier denies $5k theft

| 05/11/2013

(CNS): A former civil servant who worked at the lands and survey department has denied stealing almost $5,000 from government coffers when she worked there as a cashier and account handler in 2010. The Summary Court trial of Lavania Hume-Ebanks, who faces 16 counts of false accounting, opened on Monday before Magistrate Kirsty Gunn. According to the crown’s case, Hume-Ebanks used at least three different methods to steal money from cash transactions made at the counter for atlases or other surveys provided by the government department and stole $4,761.30 over a sustained period.

During the explanation of the case against Hume-Ebanks, the prosecuting attorney said that the multitude of questionable transactions which occurred on her watch was too great to be carelessness or merely mistakes and that she had deliberately and dishonestly taken the money.

The crown alleges that Hume-Ebanks would either issue a receipt to a customer and then later enact a fictitious refund transaction and pocket the cash or that she would hand over a receipt to a customer but use an old receipt number. Alternatively, she would not make a copy of the receipt she issued to match the cash taken, enabling her to claim a different transaction amount and steal the difference. However, the crown claimed the outcome was the same In each instance, in that she stole public money.

Hume-Ebanks has denied the allegations.

During cross examination of the crown’s first witness, the financial administrator in the department, it became clear that until the investigation was triggered as a result of suspicions surrounding Hume-Ebanks, the management and security of cash taken at the counter for lands and survey appeared to be quite lax. Cash was left unattended and not locked up, staff appeared to borrow money from the cash draw for lunches and other sundry items and there were no strict procedures in place for how cash was to be handled once it was collected by cashiers before it was handed in to the financial administrator at the end ofthe day.

The trial continues in court three on Tuesday morning.

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Category: Crime

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