Former senior accounts assistant jailed for pocketing $229,000 from firm

SINGAPORE - A former senior accounts assistant at a food and beverage company was sentenced to 28 months' jail on Tuesday (Oct 3) for misappropriating $228,690 over a four-month period.

Malaysian Hiew Chin Shyen, 27, was employed by Field Catering & Supplies in Senoko South Road when she pocketed the amount between January and May 4, 2016.

She was entrusted to collect cash and cheque payments made by customers, tally the collections with orders/invoices generated by the company, and pass the collections to the accounts officer, who would deposit it and hand over corresponding deposit slips to Hiew.

She was also tasked to keep a record of receipt of cash collections using record forms.

There was a discrepancy of $228,690 in the company's cash collection records between January and May 4, 2016.

The company's internal investigation showed that Hiew deliberately manipulated the data entry in its "e-finance'' system.

Instead of recording the cash collected on the precise dates, she would either reflect the collection date as a weekend, usually on a Sunday, or use an earlier date. The company did not print daily receipt listings on weekends. It also would not look back in time to verify previous collections.

This allowed Hiew to pocket collections in whole or part, to evade detection, while ensuring that all collections ultimately tallied with the invoices issued by the company.

She would take cash once every few days to avoid arousing suspicion.

She has made partial restitution of $30,000.

Deputy Public Prosecutor V. Jesudevan asked that at least 28 months' jail be imposed. He said the offence involved a large sum of money, was premeditated and planned, and Hiew occupied a senior position.

Hiew's sentence was backdated to Dec 17, 2016.

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