Six months’ jail for assistant accountant who used money she stole from firm to pay off husband’s debts
An assistant accountant used money she misappropriated from her firm to help her husband repay debts he owed to moneylenders.
On Thursday, Khiew Mei Yien, 37, was sentenced to six months’ jail after she pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal breach of trust by employees. A forgery charge was taken into consideration during her sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Koh Yi Wen said Khiew starting working for Hoz, a digital locks company, on Sept 16, 2021.
Her duties included retrieving cash and cheque payments from customers from a safe deposit box once or twice a week.
The payments were placed in the box by the company’s technicians and sales staff, and the box was secured using a fingerprint system with access limited to only Khiew and Hoz’s director.
Khiew was supposed to verify the sums with receipt summaries that noted details such as the date of the deposit, the invoice number and the amount paid by the customer, before depositing the money in Hoz’s bank account.
On 20 occasions between Nov 22, 2021, and March 10, 2022, Khiew took some of the money from the safe deposit box for her own use before depositing the remainder in the company’s bank account.
Said DPP Koh: “To cover up her misappropriation, the accused made fraudulent electronic records using the company’s Xero platform to indicate that the payments from customers were still pending.”
Khiew’s husband did not know that Khiew stole the money that was used to repay his debts to Malaysian moneylenders and thought that it was from her monthly salary.
After Hoz terminated Khiew’s employment on May 6, 2022 for poor job performance, the firm’s director discovered a large sum of money missing from the company’s accounts and made a police report on June 8, 2022.
After checks were conducted, she was found to have dishonestly misappropriated a total of $13,307.50.
For criminal breach of trust by an employee, Khiew, who has not made restitution, could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.
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