Parties To Negotiate In Trial of Brno-Jundrov Accountant Who Stole CZK 8 Million
The court has adjourned the trial of an accountant who, according to the indictment, stole CZK 8 million from the Brno-Jundrov city district. She faces up to ten years in prison for fraud, but both parties expressed an interest in reaching a negotiated deal over the plea and sentence. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.
Brno, May 26 (BD) – On Tuesday, the Regional Court in Brno began hearing a multi-million crown fraud case involving the Brno-Jundrov district council. According to the indictment, former accountant Hana Řídká sent 164 payments from district funds to her own accounts over five years, totalling CZK 8 million. District authorities discovered the disappearance of the money in the first half of 2019 during a financial audit.
“The accused, in paying invoices and payments arising from contracts, exchanged the bank account numbers of suppliers with her own bank account numbers,” said police spokesman Pavel Šváb at the time, in early March.
Řídká concealed bank statements, manipulated payment reports, and adjusted balances on city accounts. She then changed the original statements in the accounting documentation of the city district and used the money for personal spending.
At the time, CZK 8 million accounted for more than a quarter of Brno-Jundrov’s budget, meaning the council had to borrow CZK 6 million from Brno City Hall to cover planned investments. Řídká has sold her house to return more than half of the total stolen to the district. According to Brno-Jundrov’s lawyer Alexander Nett, the outstanding amount is around CZK 3.5 million.
Under the law, fraud of over CZK 5 million is punishable by up to ten years in prison. The public prosecutor is proposing a sentence of three to four years in prison for the former official, a ban of five years from serving as an accountant, and forfeiture for the substitute value of CZK 30,000.
However, after the reading of the indictment, no evidence was heard before the regional court. Judge Dagmar Bordovská said that both parties would negotiate an agreement on a plea and sentencing. This option has been available to the defendant and the plaintiff as of autumn of last year, when the legal provision on plea bargaining entered into force. The trial will continue on June 24th.