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

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Battle of the Bands winner set to perform at Char’s Landing

Sean Lyons is a singer-songwriter originally from Port Alberni

Port Alberni sends large contingent of athletes to Special Olympics Winter Games

Veteran curler Simone Myers dreams of gold in her seventh provincials

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

West coast group campaigns for seal, sea lion harvest

‘Salmon are going the way of the buffalo unless we do something’

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read