Former Dept of Heritage and Arts employee sentenced to 24 months for fraud

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A former employee of the Department of Heritage and Arts who was convicted for claiming transport hire amounting to $660 was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment in the Suva Magistrates Court today.

Rosalia Muavesi who was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2019  pleaded guilty to one count each count of conspiracy to defraud – obtaining a gain, obtaining a financial advantage and forgery.

According to a FICAC statement Muavesi sought the assistance of her now ex-husband and the second accused in this matter, in acquiring transportation services whilst in Gau for official duties, which she received for free.

However, upon returning to Suva, a false claim was submitted to claim for transport hire amounting to $660 which she was not eligible to receive since she received transport for free.

In delivering the sentence, Magistrate Asanga Bodaragama said Muavesi held a position of trust and was familiar with the government financial regulations and procedures but violated and breached that trust.

Furthermore, he stated that she took advantage of the situation and committed these offences by conspiring with her (ex) husband and executed the plan by breaching the financial regulations and procedures.

He ruled that her actions for personal gain brought disrepute and shame on the entire public service and its law abiding, hard working officers.

Magistrate Bodaragama further ruled that of the 24-month sentence, 12 months would be served in custody with the remaining 12 months to be suspended for five years.

Meanwhile the second suspect, Nick Stark pleaded not guilty to one each count of conspiracy to defraud – obtaining a gain and aiding and abetting obtaining a financial advantage.

 

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