The Straits Times has yesterday reported that a shipping clerk has siphoned $388,711.61 from her employer. According to the report, she had treated herself to luxury goods from Chanel and a brand new Toyota Vios in Malaysia.
Ellise Teo, a Malaysian, had pleaded guilty last month to committing criminal breach of trust between 30 Sept 2015 and 19 May 2016 while working at logistics company UBTS. The report stated that she was sentenced to jail for three years and three months yesterday.
According to assistant public prosecutor (APP) Thiagesh Sukumaran, Teo had joined the company on 13 July 13 2015. Two months later, she was tasked to assist an officer from the accounts department.
The department handles claims by drivers who had used their own funds for expenses they incurred while operating container lorries. It also handles advance salary claims by employees.
Employees who had asked for advance salaries must obtain approval from UBTS’ managing director. He will then sign a payment voucher to approve the amount to be disbursed.
Teo, who processed these payments, used different methods to siphon money. In the report, APP Sukumaran told district judge Lorraine Ho: “The accused would obtain amounts that had been paid to employees seeking reimbursement. For example, if the employee claimed $300, the accused would amend the amount to $1,300 and misappropriate the difference of $1,000.”
It’s reported that Teo also obtained the managing director’s signature on payment vouchers to deceive the finance department into believing that employees were seeking advance salaries even though they were not. She would then pocket the amount stated on the payment voucher.
Teo also created vouchers which duplicated payments that had already been made to employees before keeping the money for herself. She used some of the money to buy a brand new Toyota Vios in Malaysia worth RM85,000 and luxury goods from Chanel worth S$9,437.86.
Teo has made no restitution and APP Thiagesh said there is no information on what she did with the remaining monies. She was caught after the firm’s finance department conducted an audit in March last year and an executive uncovered several discrepancies.
For criminal breach of trust, Teo could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.
Photo / 123RF