Indian National in Court for US$124K Theft


The case against Maxx Rental Incorporated, a car rental company manager and its chief accountant, Sanju Jose Thayankeril, an Indian national, and Lorena Reeves, a Liberian accused of US$124,730.75 theft started last week at Criminal Court ‘C’ in Monrovia.

Both Thayankeril and Reeves have pleaded not guilty to the multiple-count indictment brought against them by the government when they were first arraigned in court.

The parties (prosecution and defense teams) have already concluded with their final legal arguments into the matter and are therefore waiting for Judge Yussif Kaba to declare them either guilty or not.

At last week’s hearing, Judge Kaba did not give a definite time when he would render his judgment.

Thayankeril and Ms Reeves will serve prison terms between five to ten years and made to pay back the money, if found guilty.

Between July 2015 and April 2016, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO), Emmanuel Togba, claimed that the defendants (Thayankeril and Reeves) used their respective positions to design a criminal scheme where they successfully prepared a fictitious vehicle rental request purporting same to be emanating from one of the company’s clients, the World Food Program (WFP).

They were alleged to have used the request to raise a payment voucher for the US$124,730.75 and fraudulently transferred the money from the Maxx Rental bank account into their personal savings account for the period between July 2015 up to and including April 2016.

Their alleged withdrawal was intended to ensure that the rental service was provided to the WFP, while in reality the UN entity made no such request, for which the defendants en-cashed the check and withdrew the money for their personal use and benefits.

Before the withdrawal, Togba claimed that in June 2015, Thayankeril and his co-defendant (Reeves) encouraged him to join the company and served as its chief executive officer.

When the deal was sealed, Togba alleged that the defendants issued to him a 35 percent share in the company and the CEO post, on condition that he made available the collateral to secure a loan from the GT Bank.

It was based upon “the encouraging post (CEO),” that Togba allegedly used his seven bed-room story building, situated at the ELWA Rehab Road in Paynesville, as collateral for an amount of US$150,000 in the name of Maxx Rental Incorporated to the bank.


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