Ex-insurance agent jailed 14 months for pocketing $43,200

SINGAPORE - An insurance agent who misappropriated $43,203 was jailed for 14 months on Thursday.

Chua Guat Hong, 43, who faced three charges, was working at Great Eastern Life Assurance when she misappropriated the cash between Jan 1, 2010 and August 2012. She admitted to two of the three charges.

The court heard that Madam Tan Siew Choo, 49, who had known Chua since 2010, contacted Chua in July 2012 to buy another endowment savings policy.

The two met on Aug 12 that year in Choa Chu Kang.

Chua told Madam Tan that after taking into account vouchers worth $400, she had to pay $7,599 premium for a year.

Madam Tan handed over the amount to Chua, who told her that the receipt and policy documents would be mailed to her at a later date.

When Madam Tan did not receive any official receipt or policy documents by mid-September, she and her husband went down to Great Eastern's premises and were told that Chua had resigned. The company did not have any record of her latest purchase of the endowment savings policy in 2012.

Investigations showed that Chua not only misappropriated Madam Tan's money but had also pocketed cash entrusted to her by 11 other customers as premium payments for various policies.

She used the misappropriated funds to pay her gambling debts and for personal expenses.

Great Eastern subsequently reimbursed the affected customers.

Chua, a single mother of a teenage daughter, could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined on each charge.

elena@sph.com.sg