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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 16:30 GMT
City banker 'did not give PA 1m'
Joyti De-Laurey
Joyti De-Laurey denies the charges against her
A city banker has angrily rejected claims he allowed his secretary to take more than 1m from his bank accounts.

Ron Beller, 41, a former partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs told Southwark Crown Court the suggestion was "preposterous" and "ridiculous".

During the second day of Mr Beller's evidence he said it was "a huge sum of money" even for someone of his wealth.

Joyti De-Laurey, 35, from North Cheam, Surrey, denies stealing nearly 4.5m from several bankers over two years.

Mr Beller repeatedly described Ms De-Laurey as a thief and a criminal who could save time by pleading guilty.

High earner

He told the court: "I have never been betrayed before like this in my life. I will never be betrayed like this again."

The banker agreed he had earned "a lot of money" when Goldman Sachs was floated in 1999.

Defence barrister Jeremy Dein told the court Mr Beller's wealth allowed him to spend more than 86,000 on "personal travel" during 2000.

He also suggested Mr Beller considered the 5,000 he paid Ms De-Laurey for organising his wife's 40th birthday party in Rome, nothing more than a "tip".

The Crown alleges that Ms De-Laurey later stole more than 3m from the successor of Mr Beller and his wife Jennifer Moses.

Spending sprees

Ms De-Laurey, denies a total of 21 charges of obtaining money for transfers by deception using "false instruments", between 27 June, 2000, and 26 April, 2002.

Her husband Anthony, a 50-year-old former chauffeur, and her GP mother, Dr Devi Schahhou, 67, of Hampstead, north-west London, have each pleaded not guilty to associated money laundering charges.

Stuart Trimmer, prosecuting, has claimed the personal assistant used the money to indulge in "astonishing" spending sprees that included a 300,000 Cartier collection, designer clothes and expensive cars.

He said she also splashed out 750,000 on a seafront villa in Cyprus where she planned to start a new life.

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20 Jan 04  |  London

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