Man jailed for forging cheque taken from offering bag during church service

SINGAPORE - A man was jailed for a year on Wednesday for forging a cheque he had taken from an offering bag during a church service.

Simon Khor Hock Huat, 61, admitted to forging the Citibank cheque of Mr Ng Tze Wei by altering the intended payee, New Creation Church, to his own name in March this year. A second charge of misappropriating the $500 Citibank cheque at Sands Expo and Convention at Bayfront Avenue was taken into consideration.

The court heard that Mr Ng, 37, was attending a worship service at New Creation Church on March 9 when he deposited an envelope containing the $500 cheque into an offering bag. Khor, who was at the same service, took out the envelope from the offering bag.

Khor then fraudulently altered the cheque by cancelling the payee's name, New Creation Church, by drawing a line across those words and writing his name above the cancellation. He also forged Mr Ng's signature and wrote his bank account number at the back of the cheque before depositing it.

A staff from the bank, UOB, called Mr Ng to confirm if he had issued a cheque in favour of Khor. Mr Ng confirmed that he did not and the cheque was dishonoured.

This is not the first time Khor has committed offences involving churches. In 2000, he stole a $20,000 cheque from a 59-year-old retiree worshipping at St Andrew's Cathedral and forged her signature.

District Judge Low Wee Ping said: "You seek help from the church but yet had the propensity to steal from the church."

Ten years ago, he was given preventive detention for theft and cheating offences involving another church. After his release from prison, he committed theft in a dwelling.