Jakarta Court Acquits Two Citibank Officers in Malinda Dee Scam
The South Jakarta District Court on Thursday acquitted two Citibank Indonesia officers who were alleged to have helped graft convict Inong Malinda Dee — then a Citibank relationship manager — embezzle millions of dollars from her former clients’ accounts.
The two are cash officer Novianty Iriane and cash supervisor Betharia Panjaitan.
“[We] clear the defendants from all charges and restore their rights and dignity,” chief judge Suko Harsono said as he read out the verdict.
Prosecutors were demanding eight-year prison terms for bot, accusing Novianty and Betharia of helping Malinda embezzle the funds by approving forms for fund transfers from Malinda’s former clients’ accounts to those of her relatives.
Malinda was sentenced to eight years in prison in March when she was found guilty of embezzling some Rp 45.8 billion ($4.9 million) from 37 accounts belonging to those former clients.
Former Citibank teller Dwi Herawati was sentenced to five years in prison in June after she was found guilty of approving falsified transfer forms handed to her by Malinda.
Prosecutors earlier argued that Novianty and Betharia were parties to the crime because they were the ones who approved the forms, noting that Dwi handed the forms over to them because she was not authorized to process transfers of more than Rp 300 million.
However, Suko said neither Novianty nor Betharia had breached any regulations in processing the transfer forms. Their verification of the supposed signatures of Malinda’s clients on the forms with their naked eyes, unaided by any sort of device, was in line with Citibank’s standard operating procedures, the court found.
“The panel of judges has found no motives nor intentional elements in what the two defendants did [approving the transfer forms],” Suko said.
Novianty is said to have approved 43 transactions worth a total of $1.57 million, while Betharia approved 19 transactions worth $810,500.