An accountant from Mississauga, Ontario has been caught buying and reselling millions of dollars worth of iPhones and iPads using a company credit card.
As reported by The National Post, Nadia Minetto, a former accounting manager for Mississauga-based software company Wescom Solutions, began selling the Apple devices to a man named Gabriel Fung in November 2011.
Altogether, Fung bought 5,321 iPads and 4,942 iPhones from Minetto, worth more than $6 million CAD, over a two-and-a-half-year-period. These meetings took place across Toronto’s Yorkdale mall parking lot and an Ikea in Vaughan.
Fung would then resell the Apple devices, sometimes through his Toronto electronics store but most often to Hong Kong companies or wholesalers.
Meanwhile, Minetto was using additional company money on a Las Vegas trip, a car, seasons tickets to the Toronto Raptors, and more.
All of this took place for several years without anyone noticing because Minetto was responsible for approving work expenses at Wescom, including her own.
The spending irregularities were ultimately discovered when Wescom hired a consultant to help conduct research into the company possibly going public. In July 2014, Pacy eventually discovered nearly $6.9 million in spending irregularities, which were quickly traced back to Minetto.
As Pacy learned, Minetto had been embezzling money from Wescom since May 2009, one year after she was hired at the company.
Minetto confessed to her transgressions once confronted, although Wescom quietly sought reimbursement rather than go public with the whole debacle.
According to records obtained by The National Post, both parties came to a settlement wherein Minetto would be required to pay back as much of the embezzled funds as she could. However, court records say she was allowed to keep her house so she could “rebuild a life for herself,” as well as own a $30,000 car as a replacement for her Mercedes and Audi vehicles.
However, Wescom was given authority to seize her home in 2015 after it was revealed she did not disclose her entire spending list.
At the same time, Wescom also went after Fung for his role in the embezzlement. Fung maintained that he didn’t know where Minetto got the devices, stating that Minetto told him they were “legit.” However, Judge Michael Emery ruled that Fung chose to be “willfully blind” regarding the source of the iPhones and iPads.
“A reasonable person would not consider this to be a legitimate way to conduct business. … He chose to remain deliberately ignorant as to the source of those products,” Emery said in his 2017 judgment. “As the saying goes, if something is too good to be true, it probably is.”
As a result, Emery awarded Wescom a judgment for more than $5 million against Fung and a business partner, while also awarding Fung his cross-claim for the same amount against Minetto.
It remains unclear exactly how much of the $6-million loss has been recovered to date.
Source: The National Post