A fellow employee (also a friend) was caught stealing at work. It involved quite a bit of money as well, close to 1million was apparently taken over 2 years!
He has no resources to seek legal advice and as I am a friend of his I am trying to assist in any way that I can. I was hoping that I could get him some feedback from this forum.
As I was not involved in the meeting that was held with him, I am relying on what he has told me has transpired as being true (Although he has turned out to be a thief, I have no reason to beleive that what he has told me is not the truth)
He was called in to a meeting and advised that the company had discovered his fraud.
(present were himself, the director, the auditor, and 2 forensic experts)
The forensic experts advised him that no charges had as yet been laid against him and that it would be in his best interest to fully co-operate if he wanted any type of favourable outcome.
He admitted his guilt and agreed to fully co-operate with them.
They then asked him to sign power of attorney's to the forensic people on all of his banking accounts - he was told at the same time about what happens if he were to become "difficult"
He duly started signing any form that they placed in front of him.
The forensic guy then advised him that he would be suspended to follow due process, upon which the director interjected and said that he had not made any decision on whether he would be suspended or not. They then asked him to make a full statement admitting his guilt, which he duly done. All of them then left the boardroom to have a meeting, upon their return he was advised that the company was not prepared to pay him his salary and that he needs to sign a mutual termination agreement and that they had decided to criminally charge him.
He was told that he was getting a fantastic deal and that if he paid the money back that the company would attempt to withdraw the charges, but if the state persisted with the case then they would appeal for a lesser sentence. He told me that at that stage of the meeting all he wanted was out, and again signed any and all forms that were placed before him.
The next day he attempted suicide in order that his insurance would settle his debt and save his family from ruin.
His family however found him in time and he is still with us.
This is where I got involved as I truly feel sorry for this man, I have spoken to him at length and he has expressed true remorse, but he doesn't have the money to settle this debt.
While he was in ICU his ex-boss was threatning his family to find the money or he would lay charges and he would be arrested in hospital, he even went so far as to let the family know what this poor man would experience in jail!
He is now out of hospital and placed his house on the market, but will only clear about 400k to pay towards this outstanding debt. His ex-boss wants the full amount or jail.
He is now placed in a position of whether to rather keep this money for legal costs or to pay what he can in the hope of receiving a lighter sentance.
(he was the breadwinner of the family until this happened, and without him the family are going to be dead in the water!)
He has also told me that in his position in the company he was privy to other fraudulent acts which were committed by the company and the director (note that the auditing company is complicit as well) these relate to VAT, tax and insurance fraud. Theft by the company from their customers (of over payments that were never refunded) and of labour legislation violations.
(He tells me he has the proof of this, and can also direct the authorities on where to look to find where these "frauds"were hidden in the books of the company.
I have told him that this could make the whole matter worse for him by trying to blackmail the company into not laying charges, but as far as he is concerned, the company can also be classified as a thief and that he needs to do everything that he can to either get the charges withdrawn or to get a lighter sentence.
Any advise from the professionals would be greatly appreciated!