Gosling’s sues CFO over ‘unauthorised payments’

  • Trudie Ottolini

    Trudie Ottolini

Rum maker Gosling’s has sued its chief financial officer, accusing her of making more than half a million dollars in unauthorised transactions during a three-week period in March.

Gosling’s Ltd and Gosling’s Export (Bermuda) Ltd filed a complaint against Trudie Ottolini at the Supreme Court on May 16. Gosling’s said in its writ that Ms Ottolini had changed resolutions relating to two company bank accounts — both with HSBC Bermuda, one of them linked to a bank account in Boston — to give herself sole authorisation to make the payments.

The writ alleged that Ms Ottolini “unilaterally and without the plaintiffs’ and/or the directors’ knowledge or consent changed the terms of the Resolutions, instead granting herself sole authorisation on the bank accounts”.

News of the case was first published by the Offshore Alert website. Gosling’s detailed five transactions to a total of $572,788.91 that it said were unauthorised and were paid out between March 9 and 29.

The amounts varied from $18,420 to $244,746.91. The complaint said that recipients of the payments were Kanofan Trade Ltd, HK Rambo Electron Technologies, Webber Logistics Co Ltd, Scottie R. West, and Jian Sheng International Holdings.

The writ added the Hong Kong companies had accounts at Hang Seng Bank, Bank of China and Santander Bank (USA).

Gosling’s alleged in the writ that “the defendant paid sums of money totalling $572,788.91 from the bank accounts to entities that the plaintiffs had not authorised the defendant to make payments to”.

Public documents show that a company named Kanofan Trade Ltd was incorporated in Hong Kong on January 23, 2018.

It is alleged Kanofan Trade received a payment for $47,304 from Gosling’s less than two months later on March 9.

Companies with the same name as three of the other alleged recipients — HK Rambo Electron Technologies, Webber Logistics Co Ltd and Jian Sheng International Holdings — were also incorporated in Hong Kong, between November 2012 and September 2017.

Gosling’s claimed in the complaint that Ms Ottolini acted in breach of her employment contract, which required her “not to act with dishonesty” and “not to act in a negligent manner”.

Gosling’s has claimed damages, interest, further relief and costs.

Charles Gosling, of Gosling’s Ltd, said the company would not comment on matters before the court.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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