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Behind bars instead of a life of luxury

Sentenced to Four YearsHead Accountant at ETA guilty of fraud

The District Court of Solothurn-Lebern sentenced the former Head Accountant at the ETA watch factory in Grenchen to a term of imprisonment of four years for business fraud and money laundering. In addition she was ordered to pay back the embezzled 4,765,000 Swiss francs plus 5% interest, as well as the court costs, District Court reporter Kurt Schärer explained.

The former head of financial accounting at ETA had, from October 2000 until October 2006, made cash withdrawals to the extent of about 4.8 million Swiss francs, pretending that the money was to be used for company purposes. The public prosecutor decided that a charge of money laundering was in order as the defendant had attempted to conceal at least two million of the 4.8 million Swiss francs, preventing their seizure by the court. The convicted felon had spent the stolen cash in casinos and on financing her luxurious lifestyle. Of the embezzled 4,765 million Swiss francs, 778,300 Sfr had already been paid back before the case began, reported the District Court of Solothurn-Lebern in a communication. This was agreed by mutual consent.

Aggravating the defendant's case, according to the court's view, was a distinct lack of "genuine remorse". The court also felt unable to fully believe that the accused actually suffered from a gambling addiction. Although the Presiding Judge Daniel Wormser completely agreed with the accusations which Public Prosecutor Rolf von Felten made, the sentence of four years was one and a half years under the penalty demanded. However, Rolf von Felten appeared content with the judgment. The convicted felon has announced that she plans to contest the judgment and take the case to a higher court.