Pathological gambler jailed 7 years for forgery involving $2.3m

A former assistant accounts manager of an airfreight company was jailed for seven years on Friday for forging company cheques involving a total of $2.3 million.

Hon Po Wah, 52, who faced 344 charges, admitted to 100 counts of forgery involving about $846,000. A district court heard that Ho, who had worked for Speedmark Air Transportation at Changi Airfreight Centre for 21 years, committed the offences to feed his gambling addiction.

Investigations showed that he had evaded detection by manipulating the bank reconciliation statements, making false entries for the forged cheques and not issuing any payment vouchers for the cheques he forged.

On the 344 forged cheques, he also forged the signature of managing director Choo Loo San between Dec 30, 2009 and April last year. He transferred a total of $2.3 million from the company's bank account into his personal account, joint account and to his wife's account.

His lawyer Mr Deepak Natverlal, said his client, a father of two, was a pathological gambler who needed rehabilitation and treatment.

Hon could not make any restitution. The company obtained a judgment against him for nearly $2.3 million. He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each charge.