Woman jailed for pocketing $229k of company's cash

A former senior accounts assistant at a food and beverage company was sentenced to 28 months' jail yesterday 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 last year.

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

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

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

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 a Sunday, or use an earlier date. The company did not print daily receipt listings on weekends. It also did not check on previous collections for verification.

This allowed Hiew to pocket collections, in whole or part, and 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 that Hiew occupied a senior position.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2017, with the headline 'Woman jailed for pocketing $229k of company's cash'. Print Edition | Subscribe