Ex-HR exec jailed six years and nine months for cheating employer of $1.2m

Jaslyn Chen Xiaohong, who committed a series of forgery and cheating offences, was jailed for six years and nine months on Thursday (July 28).
Jaslyn Chen Xiaohong, who committed a series of forgery and cheating offences, was jailed for six years and nine months on Thursday (July 28).PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - A former human resource executive who committed a series of forgery and cheating offences involving about $1.2 million was jailed for six years and nine months on Thursday (July 28).

Jaslyn Chen Xiaohong, 27, who faced a total of 29 charges including theft, pleaded guilty on Wednesday (July 27) to six counts of cheating and two of forgery. The remaining charges were taken into consideration.

While working for GMC Global, one of her responsibilities was to manage the payroll of her employer and its related companies, including its subsidiary, GMG Investments.

Every month, she had to prepare a payment instruction letter to United Overseas Bank (UOB). These letters contained a list of employees and their salaries for the given month. UOB would debit GMG's bank account and credit the stated salaries into the employees' bank accounts.

In April 2014, she started using the payment instruction letters to cause large payments to be made into her bank account.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Sng said Chen has stated that she did this because she had not received a salary increment. She was not entitled to these large payments as her $2,900-a-month salary was managed through a separate system.

She would include "Chen Xiaohong" as a payee on the payment instruction letter, together with a salary she was not entitled to and her bank account details. She would then place the letters before GMG's authorised signatories to get their signatures.

She did not use her full name, but only her Chinese name, to avoid detection.

DPP Sng said Chen would also prepare the payment instruction letters with "Chen Xiaohong" listed as a payee, together with a salary she was not entitled to and her bank account details.

In addition to getting the signature of one of the authorised signatories, she would dishonestly sign the instruction letter as the other authorised signatory.

Her offences came to light in December last year and her services were terminated.

She used the money for her personal expenses. Police seized a total of $271,585 from her bank account. The outstanding amount is $974,000.

Her lawyer said in mitigation that her 63-year-old father is suffering from colon cancer and is undergoing treatment. He said his client tried to commit suicide twice as she was stressed by the calls she received from police for interviews.

Chen, who has a theft conviction, could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined for cheating and forgery.