Court fines ex-banker

National, Normal

The National, Thursday July 11th, 2013


A WAIGANI National Court judge on Monday ordered a former bank employee to pay a K1,000 fine within a month and suspended her five-year jail term. 

Budo Ilaitia, a former employee with the Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation, had earlier been found guilty of misappropriation. 

Justice Panuel Mogish ordered Ilaitia be placed on a two-year good behaviour bond. 

The court heard from Jan 1, 1996 to May 31, 2000, Ilaitia fraudulently obtained K324,616.55 from two accounts held with the PNGBC.

Ilaitia’s scheme remained undetected for a long time until a fellow banking officer discovered something was wrong and that prompted investigations that led to her arrest. 

Ilaitia was a senior team leader at that time and had worked with PNGBC for 23 years. 

PNGBC then filed a civil suit against Ilaitia and seized her family home as restitution.

Ilaitia had no previous conviction, is a widow with four children, unemployed and a born-again Christian.

Mogish told Ilaitia, as a bank officer she had violated her position of trust and that bank customers were concerned when money was misused. 

“Misappropriation by bank officers is prevalent,” Mogish said. 

He said the PNGBC had been fully restituted as they had seized Ilaita’s family home through a civil suit. 

“In this case you lost your family home and this is a strong mitigating factor,” Mogish said.

Mogish told Ilaitia that since her arrest there was no evidence she had broken the law again and he believed she had been fully rehabilitated. 

“I am convinced you will not offend again,” Mogish told Ilaitia.