Accountant jailed four-and-a-half years for forgeries totalling $452K and falsifying documents

Loke Kar Fai, a 27-year-old Malaysian, was employed by Swee Chioh Fishery when he committed 364 offences. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
Loke Kar Fai, a 27-year-old Malaysian, was employed by Swee Chioh Fishery when he committed 364 offences. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - An accountant was jailed a total of four-and-a-half years on Wednesday for a series of forgery offences involving a total of $451,538 over a year.

Loke Kar Fai, a 27-year-old Malaysian, was employed by Swee Chioh Fishery when he committed 364 offences, including falsifying payment vouchers.

Loke, who pleaded guilty to 30 counts, said in his police statement that he committed the offences to pay his father's debts. He also admitted that he used up all the money obtained from the forgeries to those ends and for his own personal expenses and gambling.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Norman Yew said Loke, who started working for the company in 2012, was entrusted to handle the company's cheques and payments.

Investigations showed that in July 2013, he decided to forge the signature of Mr Lim Mah Tat, the authorised signatory, on company cheques as well as to write cash cheques.

He would then encash the cheques or bank the proceeds into his bank account.

To explain the outflow of money from the company's current account and to hide his offences, he forged invoices and falsified payment vouchers which reflected that the company had made purchases from suppliers when they were never made.

He did this by scanning copies of genuine invoices of the company's existing suppliers into a computer and deleting the details, including the items ordered, the quantity ordered and the cost of the order.

He would then print the amended invoices and fraudulently write fictitious items, quantity and cost of the order.

He would sign on each forged invoice the purported signature of the representative of the supplier who issued those invoices.

To falsify payment vouchers, he would fill in fraudulent particulars to show that the company had issued them to pay for supplies or other expenses which he knew did not take place.

On June 25 last year, the company conducted an audit of its accounts and discovered that it had issued cheques between July 2013 and June 2014 for goods which it did not buy and expenses it did not incur.

Four days later, Loke was relieved of his duties due to poor working attendance and accounting discrepancies. A police report was lodged on July 1 the same year.

He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined for forgery for the purpose of cheating; four years and/or fined for simple forgery; and up to 10 years and/or fined for falsifying records as an employee.

elena@sph.com.sg