Former KTV lounge accounts administrator jailed three years for pocketing $360,000

Jasmine Teo Rui Ling, 38, committed criminal breach of trust over three months between Dec 2012 and March 10, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Jasmine Teo Rui Ling, 38, committed criminal breach of trust over three months between Dec 2012 and March 10, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A former KTV lounge staff was sentenced to three years' jail on Wednesday for pocketing almost $360,000 from her employer to pay off gambling debts.

Jasmine Teo Rui Ling, 38, committed criminal breach of trust over three months between Dec 2012 and March 10, 2013.

Then an accounts administrator with the Legend Palace karaoke lounge in Sophia Road, she offered to help the cashier bank in the daily takings.

The cashier agreed to the arrangement, and would hand over the daily cash proceeds to Teo in a ziplock bag.

Teo tried to cover up discrepancies in the accounts with cash proceeds from subsequent days. But she was found out after colleagues discovered that funds deposited in Legend Palace's bank account fell short of the $359,280.60 noted in sales reports.

Teo was confronted and given a chance to return the money, but had only paid back $160,000 by March 22 last year. A police report was then made. To date, $188,000 has been returned.

Teo had previously been jailed in 2004 and 2009, for offences also including criminal breach of trust.

Defence counsel Surian Sidambaram said these were committed due to Teo's gambling addiction, which she began seeking treatment for in 2011.

Teo has since stopped gambling, but committed her most recent crime to pay off debts that had arisen from the habit, her lawyer said.

Teo will start serving her sentence on Feb 24, after District Judge Lim Tse Haw granted her request to spend time with her children over the Chinese New Year period. She is out on $50,000 bail.

She could have been jailed for up 15 years and fined.

pohian@sph.com.sg