Ex-PCF branch administrator jailed 4 months for embezzling $25,000

A former PAP Community Foundation branch administrator who misappropriated $25,912 over two years was jailed for four months on Friday (Sept 23).
A former PAP Community Foundation branch administrator who misappropriated $25,912 over two years was jailed for four months on Friday (Sept 23). PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A former PAP Community Foundation (PCF) branch administrator who misappropriated $25,912 over two years was jailed for four months on Friday (Sept 23).

Imelda Veni Anthony, 33, was employed at the PCF Thomson-Toa Payoh Branch when she committed criminal breach of trust of three sums of money between 2012 and 2014.

Now a principal of Magdalene's Kindergarten, Anthony pleaded guilty to misappropriating $11,328 belonging to PCF between April 1 and Dec 31, 2012. Two other similar charges involving $11,406 and $3,177 were taken into consideration in sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheryl Janet George said Anthony, who joined PCF in 2003 as a teacher, rose through the ranks and was eventually made principal of the PCF Thomson-Toa Payoh Centre. In 2012, she was promoted to branch administrator.

Between 2012 and 2015, she was in charge of overseeing operations of two PCF centres - at Shunfu Road and Toa Payoh North.

She was entrusted with money collected from teachers, principals and parents for school fees, registration deposits and costs of uniforms, concerts and outings. She was supposed to key in the sums of money collected into the student registrations system.

In 2015, she was promoted to the post of executive principal, tasked with handling the PCF-MOE Kindergarten Centres. She handed over the accounts in relation to the two centres to a new management team.

The team found lapses in compliance with the financial standard operating procedures and alerted the PCF's internal audit team. An audit led to the discovery of her offences.

The court heard that instead of keying in the sums of money she collected into the student registration system, she would deposit the money into her personal bank account.

"The accused ensured that she only took small amounts of money each time she did this, so that it would not be easily detected,'' said DPP George.

Anthony would take only money collected in relation to outings, costumes, concert tickets and uniforms, but not school fees or registration deposits.

She used the money to finance the expenses of the degree she was pursuing, pay off her credit card debts and for daily expenses.

She had returned the $25,912.

Calling for a fine, Anthony's lawyer Jeyabalen said she was a self-made person. He said she has paid the price for the "terrible mistake", and has been recognised for her contribution in early childcare education.

The maximum penalty for the offence is seven years' jail and a fine.