A court in Basel, Switzerland, has sentenced a former cashier at the Fondation Beyeler to prison for three years and seven months after finding her guilty of embezzling around SFr900,000 ($1.03m) from the museum over more than ten years, Swiss television channel Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF) reported.
The woman, who is 54 and cannot be named under Swiss law, joined the museum’s ticket sales team in 2008 and was in charge of a team of cashiers from 2010 until she was caught and fired in 2019, SRF said. She began stealing money from the beginning using a variety of tricks, including selling tickets without booking the sales and pocketing the money herself and selling tickets twice, SRF said. She also used colleagues’ cash register codes to cancel tickets and took the money, the TV channel reported.
The judge told the court that the woman stole the money to fund a luxury lifestyle including expensive holidays and cars, according to SRF. In addition to sentencing her to prison, the court ordered her to pay a fine and to pay back the missing funds to the museum, the report said. She has the right to appeal.
The Fondation Beyeler drew around 364,000 visitors last year to its museum in the village of Riehen on the outskirts of Basel. A full-price ticket costs SFr25 ($28.50).