The 35-year-old man told Vienna’s regional court that he has a pure breed cat and that “I once had to pay €1,200 for it to have an operation”. He also used the stolen money to pay monthly instalments for his life insurance.
He was able to steal the money over a longer period of time by faking receipts for returned goods or pretending that expensive bottles of alcohol such as whiskey or champagne had been broken in the store. He also deceived his employees by tricking them into thinking the balance in the tills at the end of the day was incorrect – and often making them pay the difference out of their own pockets.
He managed to take a total of €1,200 from one employee, and €200 from another. He especially took advantage of a naive young apprentice, who found that he was always missing large sums of money from the till – and was once forced to pay back his entire monthly income to make up the balance.
The boy didn’t realise that as an apprentice he could not legally be held responsible for the till deficit, and that it was illegal for the man to demand him to hand over his earnings. He only found out he had been duped when he was informed of the law at his vocational college, and his father then contacted the worker’s council.
The supermarket sacked the store manager in August 2016 after hearing what had been going on and he was charged with embezzlement. He has been ordered by the court to repay the money he owes to the injured parties.