16:09 GMT13 July 2020
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    The man told a court in Vienna he stole the money to pay for his expensive pedigree cat.

    A former supermarket boss who stole at least 20,000 euros ($21,280) from his store said he took the money because he needed to pay bills for his cat, the Austrian newspaper Kurier reports.

    "It's a pedigree cat. I had to pay over 1,200 euros ($1б280) for an operation," the defendant told a judge in Vienna's district court.

    The court also heard that the amounts of money stolen by the 35-year-old also corresponded to his life insurance contributions. 

    The manager used various ruses to embezzle the store, manipulating returns and pretending to break bottles of expensive alcohol. 

    In some cases, he counted up the cash registers of the shop's cashiers, pretended to find a deficit, and took the money from the worker's wages.

    The store manager robbed one employee of 1,200 euros in this way, and another worker of 200 euros.

    A young apprentice who worked at the store for two years was regularly targeted, and the manager took so much money from him that he could not take home his monthly pay.

    In Austria, apprentices cannot be held legally responsible for accounting mistakes nor is compensation allowed to be taken from their apprentice wages. 

    The manager's conduct came to light after the intervention of the boy's father, and he was dismissed by the supermarket in April 2016. 

    The court in Vienna found the man guilty of fraud and embezzlement, and sentenced him to six months' probation. He was also ordered to pay damages, and repay the stolen money.


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