Dismissed employee forged time sheets to cheat former company of $18,800

He was dismissed as a customer service officer by StarHub on June 15, 2011 for tardiness but Muhammed Syahmi Lopez, 23, continued submitting time sheets to his recruitment agency for a salary. Over the next seven months, he collected more than $18,800 from Recruit Express, a company that supplies workers to businesses.

On Tuesday, he was jailed for six months by a district court. He had pleaded guilty to forging 16 time sheets and to one count of theft of a laptop from a house along Bukit Timah Road.

He was found out on Feb 3 last year when a staff member at Recruit Express noticed that he had billed the agency for working at the StarHub outlet at VivoCity on Jan 23. That was a public holiday for Chinese New Year and the branch was closed that day.

Investigations then revealed that he had forged the signature of Ms Hoi Lei Kam, 33, the Starhub outlet manager, on the time sheets. He would then submit these to Recruit Express and payment would be deposited into his bank account.

Pleading for a lenient sentence, defence counsel G. Dinagaran said that his client had resorted to crime to get money to cover his mother's medical bills for her arthritis condition.

For the past six months, Muhammed Syahmi, now a technician, had been studying part-time for a diploma in engineering at the Management Development Institute of Singapore, the lawyer added.