A former woman executive with Nakheel allegedly fled to her home country after embezzling more than Dh1.3 million worth of tenancy contract cheques, a court heard.
The 35-year-old Filipina, J.B., was based in the Nakheel-owned Dragon Mart in the International City when she allegedly embezzled the money. She was in charge of coordinating the tenancy contracts, meeting with shop tenants of Chinese nationality and collecting the cheques from them.
She was in charge of helping the Chinese tenants issue the cheques in the name of her workplace. But she, together with a compatriot accomplice, 33-year-old J.T., embezzled four cheques, which they forged, to make J.T., an administrative secretary, the beneficiary.
According to prosecution records, J.B. abused her post at the Dragon Mart administration and forged the blank cheques worth more than Dh1.3 million and wrote J. T.’s name as the beneficiary. J.T. then collected the forged cheques from the banks.
They were charged in the Court of First Instance with embezzlement of public funds, forgery and use of forged documents and criminal complicity. J.B. has been charged in absentia. J.B.’s alleged wrongdoing ran from January to June, 2011.
An Emirati director of government relations in Nakheel, who is based at the Dragon Mart, said that J.B. had worked for them for three years.
“Her job was in the Tenancy Section. She was in charge of meeting shop tenants and coordinating the tenancy contracts. She would also collect cheques from them.” The director said that J.B.’s job was also to hand over all the cheques to the accountant at the mart. In May 2011, she took leave from her work and went back to her country on the pretext that her mother was sick. After her departure, many tenants were served a notice as they did not settle their tenancy dues.
But when tenants checked with the administration, it was known that they did have copies of the cheques they had issued to J.B. The cheques they had were stamped with the administration seal. Through auditing, the administration learnt later that J.B. collected four cheques and kept them for herself rather than putting them on the company’s records of revenues. She only photocopied the cheques and enclosed the copies to the relevant tenancy contracts. She later gave the cheques to her accomplice J.T.
The administration knew of J.T.’s part after contacting the banks, on which the cheques were drawn, and learnt that J.T. was named as a beneficiary.