Man sentenced to 4 months' jail for criminal breach of trust

Ooi Kok Heng was sentenced to four months' jail for misappropriating merchandise worth nearly $31,000.
Ooi Kok Heng was sentenced to four months' jail for misappropriating merchandise worth nearly $31,000. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - As a manager at electronics store Harvey Norman, he could log into the outlet's computer system to amend orders which customers had earlier confirmed.

Malaysian Ooi Kok Heng, 31, abused his position and was sentenced to four months' jail on Tuesday (Jan 31) after admitting that he had dishonestly misappropriated merchandise worth nearly $31,000.

He pleaded guilty to one count of criminal breach of trust while a second charge for a similar offence, involving 30 sets of computer software worth more than $12,000, was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Ooi, who worked at the store's Djitsun Mall outlet at Ang Mo Kio Central 2, committed the offences between Jan 2 and Dec 26, 2015.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tow Chew Chi said that whenever a customer bought items from the store, sales staff would create an order confirmation in a computer system to issue a slip to the customer who would then make a payment.

DPP Tow added: "The accused would secretly log into the system and add more items into the orders and falsely indicate that the extra items were given to the customers for free.

"They consisted of computer software, laptop bags, computer mice, cables, power banks and external storage devices."

After that, Ooi would take the items out of the store and sell them.

DPP Tow said:"During this one-year period, the accused committed 145 distinct misappropriations of 405 units of merchandise in total from the outlet."

He was caught after an internal auditor lodged a police report on July 15, 2016, about his criminal activities.

On Tuesday, Ooi's lawyer Raymond Lye told District Judge Eddy Tham that his client has made full restitution.

He is now out on $10,000 bail to settle some personal matters and will surrender himself in court on Feb 20.

For criminal breach of trust, he could have been jailed up to seven years and fined.