Woman who cheated MSF of $3,800 jailed 7 months, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Woman who cheated MSF of $3,800 jailed 7 months

A woman who cheated the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) of $3,800 in financial assistance was sentenced to seven months’ jail on Feb 28.

Nurkaziemah Karim, 32, had repeatedly abused two financial support schemes that the Government had rolled out to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She has since made full restitution to MSF.

On Feb 19, Nurkaziemah pleaded guilty to two counts of cheating involving $2,600 and one count of forgery.

Five other charges, including two counts of cheating linked to the remaining $1,200, were considered during sentencing.

Nurkaziemah had abused the Temporary Relief Fund (TRF) and the Covid-19 Recovery Grant (CRG).

In earlier proceedings, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kathy Chu said that eligible TRF applicants had received a one-off payment of $500.

This was given to those who fulfilled certain conditions, including having been retrenched, or suffered at least a 30 per cent loss of personal income due to Covid-19, after Jan 23, 2020.

Successful CRG applicants had received three monthly payments of up to $700 each. Applicants had to be unemployed due to retrenchment or involuntary contract termination at the point of application.

In October 2019, Nurkaziemah‘s husband started working as a mobile technician at a property services company.

He resigned from SB Property Services in April 2020 and worked as a delivery rider until February 2021.

On or around April 10, 2020, Nurkaziemah submitted a TRF application for him. She lied to MSF by claiming that her husband had lost his job due to Covid-19.

The ministry handed him $500 on April 13, 2020.

Separately, Nurkaziemah started working as a human resources executive at franchise management company Deelish Brands on Dec 28, 2020.

On March 31, 2021, she sent in her resignation letter.

The DPP said that Nurkaziemah had voluntarily resigned from Deelish Brands and her employment there was not affected by Covid-19.

On or around April 11, 2021, she forged a letter of release dated March 31, 2021, bearing the company’s letterhead.

The document stated that Deelish Brands had purportedly decided to terminate her employment due to “restructuring”.

Nurkaziemah submitted an application for a CRG and enclosed the forged letter. As a result, MSF handed her $2,100 via three disbursements of $700 each in April and May 2021.

On July 12, 2021, Nurkaziemah started working as an HR executive at logistics provider Sin Chew Woodpaq.

She sent a resignation e-mail to the HR manager the following month.

On or around Sept 30, 2021, she forged a letter of release bearing Sin Chew Woodpaq’s letterhead, claiming that her employment with the company had been terminated due to restructuring.

She then enclosed the forged document in another application for a CRG.

The offences came to light when the HR manager received a call from MSF and discovered that Nurkaziemah had forged the termination letter. The police were alerted on Oct 15, 2021.

For each count of cheating, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

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