SINGAPORE - By pretending to collect donations for the Bedok Youth Society for the Disabled, two former employees of the voluntary welfare organisation (VWO) managed to dupe multiple donors into parting with almost $10,000.
Former donation telemarketer Noryana Mohamed Salleh, 37, and her boyfriend Rajzaed Sedik, 39, who was the VWO's donation collection rider, were each sentenced to 36 weeks' jail on Monday (May 14).
Deputy Public Prosecutor Alexander Woon said that Noryana started working for the society in early 2012 and was tasked to contact a pool of regular donors to find out if they would like to continue contributing to the organisation. She resigned in December that year.
Rajzaed started working for the society two months after she joined it. As part of his job, he visited donors' homes to collect the money and issue receipts, said DPP Woon. He resigned in November, a month before Noryana did so.
Even after she quit her job, Noryana held on to the keys to the main entrance of the society's office and did not return them when told to do so.
As the couple were in need of money, they decided to steal the VWO's collection receipt booklets from its office at Block 10 Chai Chee Road.
In January 2013, they went to the office at around 11pm. Noryana used the keys to enter its premises while her boyfriend waited outside. She took a booklet and they left the scene.
DPP Woon told District Judge Kessler Soh that while working for the Bedok Youth Society for the Disabled, Noryana also made a copy of a list of the society's regular donors.
She contacted them between January and August 2013 to ask for donations.
"After a potential donor had indicated his or her willingness to donate to the society, (Rajzaed) would proceed to collect the cash donations from the donor," DPP Woon said. "(Rajzaed) would then issue a genuine receipt belonging to the society which (Noryana) had stolen... or present a fake receipt which they had photocopied."
The couple spent the money collected and have made not any restitution. They were caught after the society's honorary general secretary alerted the police to the offences on Aug 15, 2013. Court documents did not mention how the crimes came to light.
Rajzaed and Noryana each pleaded guilty to one count of theft and 19 cheating charges on May 8. The court heard that they each had 378 other similar charges which were taken into consideration during sentencing.
They were each offered bail of $15,000 on Monday after Judge Soh allowed them to begin serving their sentence after Hari Raya Aidilfitri. They have to surrender themselves at the State Courts on June 20.
Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the Bedok Youth Society for the Disabled said that it has taken steps to prevent a similar incident.
“We have taken immediate action such as installing CCTV (closed-circuit television) in our premises. (There are also) tighter control measures set in terms of handling and issuing any official documents. Our treasurer and accountant are actively involved in performing regular checks and audits to the financial records,” said a spokesman.