The former store manager of a clothing store in Trincity Mall has been ordered to abide by an agreement between her and her former employer to repay $100,000 for stock she stole during her tenure.
Delivering an oral judgement at the end of the virtual trial yesterday, Justice Frank Seepersad upheld Suite 16 Limited’s lawsuit against its former employee Prameila Hardeen and ordered her to clear the debt.
According to the evidence in the case, in August 2005, Hardeen was hired as a sales clerk at the company’s branch at Trincity Mall.
In less than two years, Hardeen was promoted to store manager.
In September 2017, the company’s director Kathrina Haddad received information that Hardeen had been stealing from the store by issuing cash receipts for inventory and not submitting the information into the company’s computer database.
Haddad reported the larceny to the Arouca Police Station and two police officers visited the store to question Hardeen.
Hardeen allegedly admitted that she had been stealing for several years and agreed to sign a promissory note, under which she would repay $100,000 in a year to avoid being prosecuted.
The company sued Hardeen after she repeatedly failed to clear the debt.
In response to the lawsuit, Hardeen counter-sued the company, as she claimed that she was coerced by the police officers, who were Haddad’s friends, into signing the document. She also denied that she had sold the company’s inventory and kept the proceeds.
In his judgement, Seepersad rejected Hardeen’s claims, which he described as inconsistent and implausible.
He questioned how Haddad would have used corrupt police officers when there was evidence that she made an official report to police.
He also noted that if Hardeen was as innocent as claimed, she would have refused to sign the document and would have made a police report of the incident afterwards.
Justice Seepersad also said that Hardeen was very fortunate to be given the option to avoid facing the criminal justice system.
“Businesses should be encouraged to make reports to the police and take it to the fullest extent of the law,” Seepersad said.
He also suggested that the company should seek to bring enforcement proceedings if Hardeen again fails to pay.
“A message should be sent that this dishonest conduct is unacceptable,” Seepersad said.