Woman jailed for 1 year for siphoning off more than $106,000 of employer's money

SINGAPORE - An accounts executive was jailed for a year on Tuesday (Oct 24) after siphoning off $106,390.62 from her company by forging cheques.

Yeo Kim Lan, now 54, who worked for MSG Singapore, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of forgery. Twenty other similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

She committed the offences between April 2, 2014 and June 2 last year, and nearly all the charges involved $3,807.06 each.

The court heard that her job scope included preparing bank transfer forms and cheques for MSG Singapore and NSG Asia, both dealing with glass.

These were then given to the director of both companies, Mr Tan Pel Hui, 61, so that he could sign them.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiam Jia Min said that on various occasions between 2014 and last year, Yeo prepared cheques from NSG Asia's account, each with a payable amount of $3,807.06.

By using a typewriter in the office, she entered "MSG Singapore Pte Ltd" as the name of the payee.

To avoid suspicion, she stated the amount of $3,807.06 on each cheque as it was the standard service charge given to MSG Singapore.

Yeo then gave the cheques to Mr Tan. After he signed them, she altered the payee's name to her own.

DPP Thiam said: "She did so by using a typewriter correction tape to cancel out 'MSG Singapore Pte Ltd' and replacing the payee column by typing in her name using the typewriter situated in the office."

Yeo would then encash the cheques or deposit them into her own bank accounts.

Her offences came to light after Mr Tan asked her for the bank statements of both firms on June 25 last year.

At first, she lied, claiming that the bank did not issue any statements. But Mr Tan found out that this was not true when he contacted the bank.

Yeo finally showed him the statements after he demanded to see them.

DPP Thiam said: "(Mr Tan) noticed that the bank statements appeared to be fabricated because the font, colour and template in the statements appeared different and there were discrepancies in the remittance payments between NSG Asia and MSG Singapore."

He confronted Yeo about the discrepancies and conducted an internal audit before informing the police on July 12 last year.

According to Yeo, she used her ill-gotten gains to pay for items such as bank debts and gambling expenses.

DPP Thiam urged District Judge Soh Tze Bian to jail Yeo for a year as the offences were premeditated and involved a substantial sum of money.

Yeo's lawyer, Mr G.S. Lim, who was assigned to the case under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, told the court that his client, who is remorseful, has made full restitution.

For each count of forgery, she could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.