Former pre-school principal jailed 16 months for CBT of more than $150,000

A former school principal of a pre-school branch was jailed for 16 months on Monday (June 27) for misappropriating about $155,000.
A former school principal of a pre-school branch was jailed for 16 months on Monday (June 27) for misappropriating about $155,000.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A former school principal of a pre-school branch was jailed for 16 months on Monday (June 27) for misappropriating about $155,000.

Jaya Letchmi Soma Sundram, 49, had pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust (CBT) of $69,334 when she was the principal at Kinderland Educare Services' Lorong Buangkok branch between January and July 2014.

Three other similar charges were taken into consideration during her sentencing.

A district court heard that she was employed to oversee the branch's operations, including collecting school fees, from current and enrolling students.

Some time in May that year, a senior manager of the company was alerted by the finance department after an internal audit showed discrepancies in the accounts of the branch under Jaya's charge.

Upon questioning, Jaya admitted that she had misappropriated cash payments that had been entrusted to her between January 2011 and July 24, 2014.

The court heard that cash payments were to have been recorded in the electronic system used by the company, which would also generate receipts.

Jaya had instead procured 10 volumes of manual receipts from a printing shop which she issued to parents when she collected money.

The total amount misappropriated was $154,760. She has made partial restitution of $30,000.

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