Ex-operations manager gets 18 months' jail for swiping more than $25k from F&B firm

Han Khang Teng was jailed for 18 months after he admitted to criminal breach of trust involving $25,880.
Han Khang Teng was jailed for 18 months after he admitted to criminal breach of trust involving $25,880.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - About a month after he started work, an operations manager pocketed about $20,000 from a coffee shop instead of putting the money in the business' bank account.

Han Khang Teng, 48, then used the money to pay his personal debts and for other expenses. When questioned, he lied, saying he lost the money.

On Thursday (Aug 10), Han was jailed for 18 months after he admitted to criminal breach of trust involving $25,880.

A second charge involving $6,200 was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Han started work on April 7, 2015 at Marina (GU), a food and beverage business that manages various outlets.

His duties included collecting the sales proceeds from a Pagoda Street coffee shop and depositing it in the firm's bank account.

Han was also responsible for collecting rent and payment for utilities from two tenants - The Bread Board in Temasek Polytechnic and 473 Coffee Shop in Fernvale Street. He was then supposed to hand the money over to the firm's chief operating officer.

The court heard that between May 4 and May 17, 2015 - about a month after he started work - a worker at the Pagoda Street outlet handed over to Han money from sales amounting to a total of $19,623. The cash was kept in two separate bank bags, which were sealed.

Two daily bulk cash transaction reports were also given to Han.

However, instead of depositing the money into the firm's bank account, Han used it for his personal expenses and to pay off his debts.

About a year later, he returned $1,000 to Marina (GU).

Between August 2015 and February 2016, The Bread Board tenant handed over to Han a total of $6,257. The money was payment for rent and utilities but Han used the money to pay his personal debts, among other things.

To cover his tracks, he lied to the firm's chief operating officer, saying he did not receive the tenant's rental and utilities payment because The Bread Board's business was poor.

However, in June 2016, the tenant told the chief operating officer that he had already handed over the money to Han. That was when his offences were discovered.

In September the same year, Han returned $6,648 to Marina (GU).

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