Ex-admin executive fined $10,000 for forging company cheques to save time

An administrative executive of the Brussels Sprouts restaurant group forged 16 cheques with a total value of $90,115 simply to save time. Kenneth Anthony Chan resorted to this in November and December last year because his boss was often unavailable to sign the cheques.

In sentencing the 33-year-old Malaysian to the maximum fine of $10,000 on Tuesday, District Judge Siva Shanmugam noted that Chan merely wanted "to facilitate quick payment to the company's suppliers and that the cheques were issued for legitimate purposes.

There was no intention to cause loss to the company or monetary gain for himself, the judge added.

Chan had pleaded guilty on July 2 to forging the signature of Ms Monique Kwok Mei Yuen, a director of the company and its bank account signatory.

The court then heard that he was hired in July last year and was based at the branch at East Coast Park. His duties included the preparation of cheques for paying suppliers and reimbursing petty cash expenses. Brussels Sprouts also has outlets in Robertson Quay and in Sentosa Cove and Ms Kwok spent time between the different outlets.

In the mitigation plea prepared by defence counsel Derek Kang and Tan Yee Siong, they said that Chan had been "under work pressure and to ensure suppliers were promptly paid and employees promptly reimbursed for expenses, he forged the cheques to cut corners".

Chan appeared to sigh with relief when he heard that he would only be fined. He could also have been jailed for up to four years.