Clerk jailed 5 years for siphoning $600,000 from construction company over one year

Sim Siow Shi was jailed for five years after she pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust.
Sim Siow Shi was jailed for five years after she pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
Sim Siow Shi was jailed for five years after she pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust.
Sim Siow Shi was jailed for five years after she pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - In one year, an office clerk who had sole oversight of her company's bank account unlawfully pocketed more than $600,000 from her employer, a court heard.

When a company director realised the firm's cheques were being dishonoured, he inspected the bank account only to discover that there was no more money left in there.

On Wednesday (Dec 28), the clerk, Sim Siow Shi, 30, was jailed for five years after she pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust.

A district court heard that Sim, a Malaysian, had worked for Fu Yuan Construction for the past nine years.

Her job was to manage her company accounts, issue cheques for employees' salaries and to do other administrative work.

"Sim was vested with a high degree of trust as she was the only person in charge of the company's accounts," said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Stephanie Chew.

"Moreover, she had sole oversight of the company's bank account statements, which were usually not checked by the company's directors," said DPP Chew.

Sim also had access to cash cheques pre-signed by Fu Yuan Construction's directors for paying suppliers and workers' salaries.

In June 2015, Sim started stealing from her company's funds.

She would insert an amount and/or her name on pre-signed cheques, before encashing them.

Between June 12 last year and Sept 6 this year, Sim unlawfully pocketed more than 60 cheques worth $611,740.14 in total.

A company director made a police report on October 3, after realising Sim's misdeeds.

The maximum punishment for criminal breach of trust as a clerk or servant is up to 15 years' jail and a fine.