Alberni bookkeeper convicted of bilking autoparts store

An Alberni auto supply dealer is recovering after $12,000 was misappropriated by its former bookkeeper.

A local auto supply dealer is recovering after $12,000 was misappropriated by its former bookkeeper.

M&D Autoparts has been in business in Port Alberni for years and is owned by five shareholders.

In 2009, shareholder Darren Rai suspected that the company’s bookkeeper wasn’t handling the business’s money properly.

The bookkeeper was responsible for all banking and counting out money after daily sales.

Specifically, Rai noticed a discrepancy in the over/shorts account. “A till is almost never perfect and there is either too much or too little,” shareholder Elaine Mani said. “The amount is placed in the over/short account and we were coming up short on the short side.”

Rai began counting the cash before the bookkeeper could get to it and noticed a discrepancy between the amount he counted and the amount the bookkeeper deposited.

Rai brought his concerns to the other shareholders. Further proof arose in the business’s year-end statements. “The adjustments in the over/shorts just weren’t right,” Mani said.

The discrepancies dated back to 2008.

The bookkeeper was confronted and dismissed. The police were contacted and in 2010 charges recommended.

Officials from the Crown prosecutors’ office at Port Alberni provincial court confirmed that Rose Szepat was convicted of one count of theft over $5,000 and was ordered to repay $9,000 to M&D Autoparts.

“Getting the money back wasn’t enough, there had to be a consequence for this and there was,” Mani said. “We want to do our part to make sure she can’t do this again.”

There was more than money taken from the business, he said. The shareholders’ sense of trust was violated, something that’s hard to get past.

The incident occurred during the recession.

There were times when the shareholders forwent being paid or held off giving raises and all the while ensuring that Szepat got paid, Mani said.

“She was in a position of trust and we didn’t think we had to worry about her,” Mani said.

“It felt like we all took a big kick.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Mattress recycling program provides work experience in Port Alberni

Recycle Matters was started by INEO Employment Services

Port Alberni’s Five Acre Shaker announces first headliner

Canadian rock band Harlequin will take the stage on Sunday

Two new developments approved for Port Alberni

Rental apartments and new retail space proposed

Take the Fresh Steps Unplugged Challenge in Port Alberni

Are you doing your part to limit your child’s screen time?

UPDATED: Drag racers cancel Thunder in the Valley for 2019

AVDRA makes last-minute decision after ACRD denies airport for venue

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

B.C. ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read