Font size: - +
This morning, agent Reiley was looking at his witness list for more interrogations and that’s when he remembered Lee-Ann Ripley, Michael’s executive assistant, he then left the station for Dimensions Incorporated, Michael’s company. He wasn’t sure if Lee-Ann was there, but with a stroke of luck, she was.
“Good morning Ms. Ripley, I’m agent… - “
But she stopped him halfway through his introduction.
“Morning to you too agent Reiley, I still remember you.” she said with a smile.
They met once when the agent was compiling his list of potential witnesses and suspects at the beginning of the investigation.
“Well, that’s good to know Ms. Ripley. I now need your help seriously, I’m hoping you have the time right now to see me.” He said to the now blushing assistant.
“Oh yes agent, with all due pleasure. Can I get you anything first, it seems like this is going to be one long interrogation.” she said with blushing cheeks.
“I’ll have coffee for my morning kick, thank you.” He gently smiled at her offer.
“Coming now, please make yourself comfortable.” She said as she sauntered through the floor’s kitchen and came back a few minutes later with two coffee mugs of espresso from the machine, some warmed up milk in another cup and a plate full of biscuits. The agent smiled as a token of appreciation when being handed the mug and he poured milk in his espresso and took a sip.
“Lee-Ann broke off the silence as she sat down.
“Well – agent, where shall we start?” flirting with her eyes.
“Was he demanding and greedy?” shot the agent
“Of course not! If there was anyone friendly and generous in this world, it had to be Mr. D. He wasn’t possessive and wouldn’t hurt a fly even if he had no choice.” she elaborated.
“Okay. Did he have any unusual or unscheduled meetings, like secret meetings, or dodgy appointments with strange characters or even without appointment?”
“Not really. Everyone passed through me and I managed his diary, other than that, he didn’t always deal directly with any clients; just the board mostly and internal stakeholders and very few media briefings and interviews.”
“Would you know of any missing funds or unknown incoming funds or irregular sponsorships for the company?” asked the agent as he took a bite out of the biscuit.
“There weren’t any strange funds that I know of but then again I’m not an accountant here. Whoever killed Mr. D must have suffered from envy and ill-greed.” she said with a deep frown on her face.
“Ms. Ripley do you – “
Lee-Ann cut him off again.
“Lee-Ann please, agent Reiley. You make this sound so formal and you make me feel old and outdated.” she smiled seductively.
“Oh, ‘Lee-Ann’ did you manage or know about Mr. Domingos personal accounts and transactions?” he was smiling at the correction as he asked the question.
“Yes agent, I was his executive assistant. I knew his every move.” she smiled again
“Was there anything strange about it?” probed the agent.
“Well, agent, I didn’t notice anything until, something like eight or ten months ago. He always told me to withdraw huge amounts of money and when I asked him what for and why not transfer it, he’d say a special friend needed help – but it was a little hard to believe that story despite his generous nature. You could tell when Mr. D was lying, it just wasn’t his nature.” she said in a low and concerned voice tone.
“For how long did this happen?” he leaned back with interest.
“Uhm…it’d been happening for ten months agent.” She looked unsure and rolled her eyes as she put her index finger on her cheek. ”Yes, it’s been ten months exactly. You know, there was a time when he told me to transfer five hundred and fifty thousand rands to an estate agency - ten months ago and two months later I transferred three hundred and forty-three thousand rands to a car dealership and when I asked him who they were for, he’d quickly change the subject. I’m lucky he never dismissed me from work that time the way I was constantly probing him, but he did stop me from managing his account for him.” She sunk back into her chair.
“Don’t you have the slightest idea as to who he was sponsoring and who this cash was going to; like his mother or wife?” agent Reiley asked, now leaning forward.
“No agent. Mr. D had no other family here except his wife. Maybe the car was for Mrs. Domingo, as well as the new bank account he opened eight months ago, but why would he open another account for her after so many years of marriage while she had another account already?” she seemed to be asking herself that question.
“Maybe he opened the new account to prevent his wife from seeing all the other transactions – or he had too much money and it was too much for one private bank account.” The agent speculated.
“But then agent, wouldn’t it be wise to have a safety deposit box or a safe at home where it’s safe. I just hope he didn’t have any unscrupulous connections; but I don’t think so, he wasn’t that kind of man.” She said with a long sigh.
“I guess that now all I have to do is ask Mrs. Domingo herself, but do you have any idea what the car model was?” he asked.
“When I asked him about the car he said it was a normal maroon toy since he loved cars but it was too cheap for his collections. I remember the colour because my Audi is also maroon and I assumed it’s a sporty model car because of the price still.” She said.