By Gloria James-Civetta

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Accounts executive jailed 7.5 years for fraud involving S$2.3 million

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SINGAPORE: A 53-year-old woman who forged hundreds of cheques and misappropriated thousands of dollars in cash was sentenced to 7.5 years’ jail on Tuesday (Jun 21).

An accounts executive, she had pocketed S$2,376,641 from two employers over about three years. She pleaded guilty earlier this month to 40 out of 380 counts, the bulk of which were for cheque forgery.

She was also found guilty of two counts under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes Act for converting S$722,350 of her ill-gotten gains into casino chips, and for passing a portion of the money to her nephew.

The prosecution sought an eight-year jail term for our client, citing aggravating factors in the case, as she had abused her position to forge cheques and misappropriate cash belonging to her employers.

Her actions resulted in significant losses to her employers, Deputy Public Prosecutor said, putting the losses at S$90,846 and S$2,285,740 for her first and second employers respectively.

She did not make restitution, although S$108,523 – “a mere 4.5% of the total amount” – was recovered, the DPP said.

GJC lawyers pointed to the court that our client had been struggling financially because of a gambling addiction. Married with 3 children, she was the main breadwinner of the family and also supported her brother and sister, who live with her.

Our lawyers added that she was remorseful, and urged the court to show compassion “in light of her unfortunate and regrettable set of circumstances” at the time.

Our lawyer pleaded that six to seven years’ jail would be appropriate, acknowledging that she had a criminal record for criminal breach of trust.

For forgery, she could have faced up to 15 years’ jail per charge, and ordered to pay a fine. Similarly, for criminal breach of trust, she could have been jailed up to 15 years per charge, and ordered to pay a fine.

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