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Former DYNA-MAC Holdings payroll manager, Pu Choon Choon, 50, was yesterday sentenced to a seven years and three months jail term for misappropriating S$1.03 million from her employer to feed a gambling habit, The Straits Times reports.
Pu had pleaded guilty on July 28 to one count of misappropriating $1 million between September 2015 and last August while working for the as offshore platform and oil and gas plant construction company as a payroll manager. A similar charge involving $28,797 was considered for sentencing.
She could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for criminal breach of trust as a servant.
Including allowances she was not entitled to
According to Deputy Public Prosecutor David Koh, Pu, whose job included processing staff salaries, and another payroll executive were the only ones who had access to the company’s payroll system.
Pu would alter her salary details by including allowances she was not entitled to. The total salary she was rightfully entitled to during the period was $61,470.
To ensure the changes went undetected, she included allowances that would not affect her contribution to the Central Provident Fund or payable tax, such as transport or training reimbursements. DPP Koh said this ensured there would be no changes in her total taxable income, which might otherwise be detected by the tax authority or the firm.
Reactivating former staff profiles and taking their salaries
Additionally, Pu reactivated and changed the profiles of two former employees in the system so their salaries would be credited to an account of her choosing.
In a bid to stay under the radar, she would generate the consolidated payroll listing of all staff and send it to a bank, then alter the listing before printing it out for approval by the firm. Once the salaries had been paid, Pu would cancel the changes she had made. However, all these changes were recorded in the payroll system’s audit trail.
DPP Koh said the offences came to light only after Pu resigned last August. When the new payroll manager could not reconcile the differences in a payroll, a full inspection of the accounts was carried out.
Pu used the money to gamble at Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands casinos, repay a debt to a friend, and to pay unlicensed moneylenders from whom she had taken loans to fund her gambling habit.
Prior to this, she had convictions for cheating in 2004 and forgery in 2005.
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Pleading for leniency, her lawyer T.M. Sinnadurai said Pu, who has two grown-up children, has resolved to break her gambling habit.
Photo / 123RF