Man jailed for cheating employers of advance salary

SINGAPORE - An unemployed man who cheated six employers of more than $1,000 in advance salary was jailed for 12 weeks on Wednesday.

Chong Kee Cheong, 46, who faced seven charges of cheating, pleaded guilty to three counts involving $700.

A district court heard that he responded to an advertisement for a cook placed by the director of Song Huat Catering & Supplier, Mr Guay Kim Hua, 50, on Oct 30 this year. The company runs four food stalls in Singapore.

Chong reported to the company's food stall at Mapletree Business City Food Court at Pasir Panjang Road.

After observing his cooking skills, Mr Guay agreed to hire him. Chong asked for $250 as a salary advance which he claimed was for his wife's medical treatment and for his personal use.

He stated that the amount could be deducted from his future salary payments when he knew this to be false.

Later, Mr Guay found out from other staff that Chong had not returned to the stall. He called Chong on his mobile but the calls were cancelled.

Twelve days later, Mr Guay placed a new job advertisement for the position of a cook at another of his company's food stalls at Commonwealth Drive. The advertisement listed his wife's mobile as the contact number.

When Chong turned up at the food stall that morning, Mr Guay recognised him and called the police. Chong was arrested.

The court also heard he used the same modus operandi to deceive a minced pork noodle stall manager of $150 in September, and a noodle stall hawker of $300 in May.

He claimed that he needed the advanced salary for his daughter's medical treatment and hospitalisation.

Four other charges were considered during his sentencing.

Chong, who had a similar conviction in 2008, could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each charge. No restitution has been made.