With great power comes great responsibility, the old saying goes. Something else that comes with great power: opportunities to profit by doing some very shady things.
For one opportunistic (and unscrupulous) accounting manager the temptation proved to be too much. Just a few years after being hired by a Toronto-area IT solutions firm, Nadia Minetto kicked off a crime spree that went unnoticed until 2016.
As the accounts manager, Minetto was in charge of keeping tabs on company credit cards. Naturally, she had access to one herself. In 2011, with no one looking over her shoulder, she started a little side business reselling Apple products.
She started small to test the waters, offering a single iPad for sale on eBay’s classified ad site Kijiji. Minetto found an eager buyer, Gabriel Fung, met him in a mall parking lot, and made the exchange.
The buyer wanted more, and Minetto was happy to oblige. Over the next 30 months they met again. And again. These were no longer simple little swaps. Sometimes as many as 20 iPhones and iPads changed hands. Small stacks of bills turned into fat, rubberbanded rolls.
Over the course of their partnership, Minetto sold Fung a lot of Apple products. The National Post reports the final tally at 5,321 iPads and 4,942 iPhones.
In 30 months. And no one at Wescom noticed.
To be fair, it can be tricky to tabs on credit card purchases even at a smaller company. That goes double for a company with over 600 employees where nearly a third of them have a company card.
It wasn’t until an outside consultant was brought in to prepare Wescom to go public that Minetto’s purchasing habits came to light. In addition to iPhones and iPads, Minetto had also charged up season tickets for the Toronto Raptors, cash gifts to friends, and (of course) a trip to Las Vegas.
Wescom had kept the whole thing hush-hush. Instead of prosecuting Minetto the company struck a deal that would allow her to get her life back on track. All she had to do was re-pay what she could, turn over two high-end cars to the company, and come clean.
When Wescom discovered that Minetto had been holding out, they finally went to court and the details of the case went public.
Wescom is also now going after Fung, who spent just shy of $4 million over the course of those 30 months… though his lawyer he claims he was the victim and really, really thought he just stumbled on to a totally legit supply chain for Apple products. Scout’s honor!
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