Man jailed three weeks for misappropriating retiree's money

SINGAPORE - A part-time cleaner who misappropriated a total of $1,100 from a retiree's bank account was jailed for two weeks on Tuesday on three charges.

Lee Teck Huat, 57, who faced seven charges of criminal breach of trust and one of having obscene films, pleaded guilty to three counts of misappropriating $200 each time from Mr Yap Chen Bock's POSB account earlier this year.

A district court heard that Mr Yap, 84, a recipient of government welfare subsidies, was given $450 month.

As he has problems walking to the POSB ATM and has no family members or relatives, he asked Lee to help him withdraw $350 every month for his expenses.

The two men came to know each other at the Senior Citizen Centre at Lorong 7 Toa Payoh last year.

Lee began helping Mr Yap withdraw $350 from his POSB account from July last year.

In September this year, Mr Yap realised that Lee's attitude towards him was "bad". He suspected that Lee might have taken his money from his bank account.

He told his nurse from Touch Community Services of his suspicion. The nurse looked through his passbook and discovered that Lee had withdrawn more than $350 from the account on various occasions, but Mr Yap only received $350 each time. He lodged a police report.

Lee has since returned all the money he took to Mr Yap.

Lee, who had a theft conviction 10 years ago, could have been jailed for up to seven years and/or fined on each charge of criminal breach of trust.