Maid jailed for stealing jewellery worth $400k from employer

Mary Jane Importante Escalona, 48, had sold the jewellery to fund her gambling habit.
Mary Jane Importante Escalona, 48, had sold the jewellery to fund her gambling habit. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A maid who stole almost $400,000 worth of jewellery from her employer then pawned it to fund her gambling habit was jailed for two and a half years on Monday.

Mary Jane Importante Escalona, 48, was working for Mr Jose Isidro Navato Camacho, 60, when she stole cash and jewellery at his Rochester Drive unit between 2014 and October last year. Both are Philippine nationals.

Escalona, who faced 37 charges, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of theft as a servant.

A district court heard that in the proceeded charges, the value of jewellery stolen ranged from US$3,000 (S$4,064) to US$100,000 (S$135,460).

She stole items including diamond rings, gold stone rings and earrings and pawned them the same day then gambled away the money at casinos in Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands.

The remaining 25 charges, including theft of cash and a Takashimaya shopping voucher totalling about $19,000, were taken into consideration.

Her employer reported the missing money to the police on Oct 18 last year and said he could only suspect his maid.

Escalona's sentence was backdated to Oct 20 last year.

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