Ex-PCF overseer took $26k over two years

She gets 4 months' jail; money was used for expenses, debts and to get a degree

A former PAP Community Foundation (PCF) branch administrator who misappropriated $25,912 over two years was jailed for four months yesterday.

Imelda Veni Anthony, 33, who faced three charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT), admitted to one count of misappropriating $11,328 when she was with the PCF Thomson-Toa Payoh Branch in 2012. Two similar charges involving $11,406 and $3,177 were taken into consideration against Anthony.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheryl Janet George said Anthony, who started teaching at PCF in 2003, rose through the ranks to become 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 in Shunfu Road and Toa Payoh North. She was entrusted with money collected from staff and parents for school fees, registration deposits as well as uniforms, concerts and outings.

In 2015, she was promoted to executive principal, and put in charge of the PCF-MOE (Ministry of Education) Kindergarten Centres. She handed over the accounts of the Shunfu and Toa Payoh North 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. Instead of keying in the sums of money she collected into the student registration system, she put the money into her own bank account.

Anthony was found out after her promotion when a new team took over her accounts.
Anthony was found out after her promotion when a new team took over her accounts.

Anthony, who has returned all the money, used it to pay for a degree she was pursuing, her credit card debts and daily expenses.

Seeking 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.

She could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2016, with the headline 'Ex-PCF overseer took $26k over two years'. Print Edition | Subscribe