Defendant Margretta Dorbor, a former female employee of Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), last Friday took the witness stand on her own behalf, denying any involvement in the theft of US$143,500, and being in possession of 200 pieces of counterfeit notes all in US$100 bills valued at US$20,000, in December 2010.
She told the court the LBDI management conspired against her.
The LBDI’s lawyers alleged that during one of its internal audits, they discovered several withdrawal slips of customers bearing the signature of Dorbor in the amount of US$143,500.
They further alleged that Francis Jomah, the auditor who conducted the audit that discovered the missing money, also confiscated 200 pieces of counterfeit United States dollar notes, under the desk of defendant Dorbor at the bank’s Gardnerville branch, where she served as an accounts officer.
But at last Friday’s hearing at Criminal Court ‘C’ at the Temple of Justice, Arthur T. Johnson, one of Dorbor’s defense attorneys on the direct examination of his client’s alleged involvement, opened with two big questions.
“Did you withdraw money from the bank customers’ accounts?” he asked.
“No, I did not,” Dorbor testified.
“Were you in possession of 200 pieces of counterfeit United States dollars?”
“No, I did not,” she further replied.
A witness for the state, Francis Jomah, the auditor who allegedly discovered the counterfeit money, previously testified about uncovering the counterfeit money under the desk of defendant Dorbor. Claiming, “She has been tampering with customers. I caught her with 200 pieces of counterfeit money all in US$100 bills, making a total of US$20,000 in a black plastic bag right under her desk.”
Dressed in a blue jeans skirt and a black and blue blouse, appearing more relaxed in the witness box, Atty. Johnson also asked Dorbor to explain incriminating statements made over the years.
Dorbor said, “I did not steal money and I did not have counterfeit dollars.”
Dorbor said she was not in her office when the bank auditor conducted his audit report at the branch. She did not say whether other staffs were also audited.
“We were not informed by management about the audit,” she alleged. “It was after I came back to the office that I met him seated at my desk and claiming that he found a bag filled with United States counterfeit dollars under my desk.”
She said, “This is a complete lie, and there was no counterfeit money under my desk. I was not there when he came into my office. I only met him there and he showed me the plastic bag which he said contained counterfeit bill.”
Explaining another policy of the bank, she said, “The management asked all of its employees to be searched, whenever they are entering and leaving the bank’s premises by security officers. That is how we have been working, so why did they accuse me of smuggling that huge quantity of counterfeit into the bank without the security knowing anything about it.
She also explained that the policy also prevents any third party from withdrawing from the account of customers and neither did a teller allow sitting on the seat or counter of another teller.
She admitted that she was compelled to pay back LD70,000 to the bank, with the justification that, “It was because I made a mistake while handling the account of one of the bank’s customers, the Gardnersville People’s Savings Club.”