AN employee of the Famagusta-Larnaca co-op pleaded guilty in Larnaca court on Monday to the embezzlement of more than €275,000 from the bank’s Dromolaxia branch where she used to work as a head teller.
Militsa Sorokkou, 46, had handed herself in to police last year after her lawyer informed her an arrest warrant had been issued against her for offences that took place between January 1, 2007 and August 14, 2015.
As head teller, she had the keys to the bank’s vault and all the tills. She admitted that for eight years she had managed to trick her supervisor during any checks and had given some of the money to her children to buy a car. The rest of the money was spent on clothes, shoes, bags and beauty products, she told police.
The story came to light in August 2015 after the bank’s internal auditor reported to police that during an audit, around €82,500 was found missing from the suspect’s till as well as some €19,000 from two other employees’ tills. In addition to this case, following her arrest, two co-op customers reported to Larnaca police that they believed the suspect had taken €50,000 and €45,000 respectively from their accounts.
On Monday Sorokkou admitted before the Larnaca criminal court that she stole the total amount of €101,553.32 from the co-op bank between January 1, 2007 and August 14, 2015. She also admitted to the embezzlement of an additional amount of €126,633.79 from the bank account of a co-op customer between February 2014 and August 2015, and €50,000 from the account of another, back in 2014.
The suspect also admitted that she had deceived her work supervisor and that she falsely stated during a check that there was no deficit in her till.
She did not admit to any of the remaining 238 charges concerning money extortion under false pretences, the production of false documents, the circulation of forged documents and compliance with banking secrecy for various amounts.
Sorokkou’s defence lawyer requested time from the court in order to appeal to the attorney-general for the lift of a number of charges his client did not admit to.
The trial was set for January 26, while Sorokkou, who will remain free until her trial, posted a €10,000 bail and is to appear weekly at a police station. Her name was also put on the stop list and she had to turn in her travel documents.