DBS executive who spent $82k on customers' credit cards is jailed more than 3 years

Choo could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for criminal breach of trust as a servant.
Choo could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for criminal breach of trust as a servant. ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A DBS Bank senior service executive kept credit cards that customers had wanted cancelled, then used them to pay for drinks and hostesses at nightclubs.

Stephen Choo Jianwei, 32, misappropriated them from six customers and chalked up $82,000 on them over a period of seven months.

He was jailed for three years and three months on Friday after pleading guilty to 30 of 110 charges.

A district court heard that Choo was attached to the Great World City branch at Kim Seng Promenade when he committed misappropriation and cheating offences between April and November 2013. He claimed that he had a drinking habit.


Choo was attached to the Great World City branch at Kim Seng Promenade when he committed misappropriation and cheating offences. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

Customers would approach Choo to close their accounts but Deputy Public Prosecutor Tow Chew Chi said that at the end of the day he would retrieve the cards he was supposed to shred.

He used them to pay for food, alcohol and hostesses' services. He also bought car care products, a GPS navigator and other items.

Only $186 worth of goods were recovered.

The bank filed a report on Dec 5, 2013 after a customer disputed transactions on the credit card which he had wanted cancelled.

The court heard that in July 2013, a CCTV camera located behind Choo captured him surreptitiously sliding a customer's card under his computer keyboard.

He frequented Grand Oasis Nightclub KTV at The Verge on Serangoon Road and used the cards to clear bills totalling $2,100 to $4,500 each time.

He also went to a Caltex petrol kiosk to buy items and shopped at Orchard Road malls for clothes, shoes and underwear.

On Nov 16, 2013, he used $2,290 of his own money to buy a Prada bag at The Shoppes @ Marina Bay Sands and used a customer's credit card to pay the balance of $1,000.

Mr Tow cited aggravating factors such as planning and premeditation, loss of reputation to the bank and the large number of offences and amount involved.

Choo could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for criminal breach of trust as a servant. For cheating, he could have been jailed for up to five years and/or fined.