Man admits to defrauding his employer, handed suspended sentence after out of court settlement

The 35-year-old defrauded the eyewear company he was employed under out of €4,850

A 35-year-old company director has been sentenced to two years in jail, suspended for four years, after he admitted to defrauding the eyewear company which employed him out of €4,850.

The sentence was handed down after the complaint was withdrawn following an out-of-court settlement.

Dusan Osuch, from Slovakia, had been arraigned in July 2019, originally accused of misappropriation and fraudulently obtaining €10,000 from the company by charging it for what later turned out to be phantom expenses, but the prosecution had later declared that the illicit gains amounted to €4,850, at which point the accused had admitted the charges.

Osuch has resided in Malta since September 2018, the court was told.

The court, presided by Magistrate Marse-Ann Farrugia had given Osuch the opportunity to recant his admission, warning that he faced a punishment of imprisonment for up to four years. When the sitting resumed, the man repeated his guilty plea.

In its considerations on punishment, the court abstained from taking further judicial notice of the charge of aggravated misappropriation, in view of the fact that this first charge had been proffered against the defendant as an alternative to the second charge, that of fraud.

In sentencing the accused, the magistrate also took into account the fact that Osuch had only admitted the charges when the criminal proceedings against him had reached an advanced stage, when all the Malta-based witnesses had already testified and the court had been waiting for replies from the judicial authorities in Slovakia and the United Kingdom.

The case file was around 550 pages thick at that point, noted the court, observing that much court and police time had been wasted by then and rejecting the defence’s argument that Osuch had filed an early guilty plea.

In a sitting held on 6 April, parte civile lawyer Roberto Montalto had informed the court that the parties had reached an amicable settlement in relation to all civil and commercial matters arising from their contractual relationship. Declaring that it had no further claims against the accused, the injured party’s lawyer said it had no further interest in the case and was renouncing its original complaint.

In view of this, Osuch was sentenced to imprisonment for two years, suspended for four. Inspector Brian Xuereb prosecuted.