Car workshop manager gets 7 months' jail for misappropriating $13k

Investigations showed that between July and November last year, Kau Kwee Yian misappropriated the cash payments which he received from the customers and the cash in the workshop's cash register.
Investigations showed that between July and November last year, Kau Kwee Yian misappropriated the cash payments which he received from the customers and the cash in the workshop's cash register. ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A workshop manager who misappropriated $13,323 from a car repair and servicing company was jailed for seven months on Thursday (July 20).

Kau Kwee Yian, 55, was employed by Easy Link Auto in Bukit Batok when he committed criminal breach of trust as a servant between July and November last year. He left the company last November.

Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh said that as a workshop manager, Kau oversaw the overall operation and sales of the company's workshop. This included providing quotations to the customers, preparing invoices that would be passed to the customers once their repairs were completed, and receiving cash payments from them.

Investigations showed that between July and November last year, he misappropriated the cash payments which he received from the customers and the cash in the workshop's cash register.

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Instead of submitting the cash payments he had collected to the company, in some cases, he concealed the misappropriations by withholding customers' invoices from the company.

In other cases, he altered the customers' invoices to reflect a lower amount and submit the altered invoices to the company, having misappropriated the difference.

In this manner, he misappropriated a total of $11,944.

He also misappropriated $1,379 from the petty cash kept in the workshop's cash register, making the sum involved a total of $13,323.

Sometime in August or September last year, a director of the company discovered that Kau had not handed some of the invoices and payments over to the company. When confronted, Kau admitted to having misappropriated money from the company.

He claims to have used the money for his personal expenses. No restitution has been made.

District Judge Samuel Chua noted that Kau had committed the offences over a period of five months. He said Kau could have stopped his offending acts much earlier but had persisted, possibly because his misdeeds went undetected.

He said Kau also took steps to avoid detection.

Kau could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for criminal breach of trust as a servant.