Ex-manager gets 18 months for CBT

He kept sale proceeds and money for rent and utilities totalling $25,880

About a month after he started work, an operations manager pocketed about $20,000 from a coffee shop instead of putting the money in the business' bank account.

Han Khang Teng, 48, used the money to settle debts and pay for other expenses. When questioned, he lied, saying he lost the money.

Yesterday, he was jailed for 18 months after he admitted to criminal breach of trust of sale proceeds and money for rent and utilities totalling $25,880.

A second charge of misappropriating $6,200 was taken into consideration during sentencing.

Han started work on April 7, 2015, at Marina (GU), a food and beverage business that manages various outlets. His duties included collecting sale proceeds from a Pagoda Street coffee shop and depositing them in the firm's bank account. He was also responsible for collecting rent and payment for utilities from two tenants - The Bread Board in Temasek Polytechnic, and 473 Coffee Shop in Fernvale Street. He was supposed to hand the money to the firm's chief operating officer.

The court heard that between May 4 and May 17, 2015 - about a month after Han started work - a worker at the Pagoda Street outlet handed to him money from sales amounting to a total of $19,623. The cash was kept in two bank bags, and the bags were sealed.

Two daily bulk cash transaction reports were also given to him.

However, instead of depositing the money into the firm's bank account, Han used it for his personal expenses and to pay off his debts.

About a year later, he returned $1,000 to Marina (GU).

Between August 2015 and February last year, The Bread Board tenant handed over to Han a total of $6,257. The money was payment for rent and utilities but Han used the money to pay off his debts, among other things.

To cover his tracks, he lied to the firm's chief operating officer, saying he did not receive the tenant's rental and utilities payment because The Bread Board's business was poor. But, in June last year, the tenant told the chief operating officer that he had already handed over the money to Han. That was when his offences were discovered.

In September the same year, Han returned $6,648 to Marina (GU).

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2017, with the headline 'Ex-manager gets 18 months for CBT'. Print Edition | Subscribe