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Takashimaya Singapore

Former Takashimaya employee jailed for misappropriating about S$180k

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The Straits Times has reported that a long-serving former employee of department store Takashimaya has been jailed for 33 months on 6 April for the misappropriate use of S$180,000 over five years.

46-year old Yeoh Kim Hong, who is a Singapore permanent resident, was a cashier at the store when she committed criminal breach of trust (CBT) totalling $184,213 between 2012 and 2016. She pleaded guilty to three of five charges of CBT as a servant.

A district court heard that Yeoh had been working for Takashimaya since 1996 as a cashier.

In November 2016, the accounts department of the store discovered some discrepancies in two refund transactions she made. When confronted, she admitted that the two refund transactions were bogus and that she had misappropriated the money.

While she admitted to the security department to have been siphoning money for some time, she claimed it was only for about six months.

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Deputy public prosecutor Vadivalagan Shanmuga said subsequently, the store’s accounts department conducted further checks and found out that Yeoh’s fraudulent transactions dated back to 2012. She would make false refund claims and keep the money linked to these false claims.

For example, she would generate a sales receipt when a customer buys an item. She would then take note of the amount paid in cash by the customer.

Following that, she would create a false goods return slip (GRS) with details of a fictitious customer, and indicate in the GRS the same amount that was paid earlier by the original shopper. She would then open the point-of-sales machine and misappropriate the money when no one is around. 

When she finally submitted the GRS to the accounts department, the daily transactions tallied with no shortfalls, raising no suspicion.

To avoid raising any alarm, she made sure the item indicated in the false GRS was not an item promoted by sales promoters, who would do their own stock check at the end of every business day.

In usual circumstances, the court heard that the retail manager will have to sign on the refund transactions but due to the years Yeoh had worked in the store, the retail manager trusted her and gave Yeoh the necessary authorisation over the phone.

Yeoh abused her trust by forging the retail manager’s signature on the false GRS and submitted them directly to the accounts department. She could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined on each charge.

Photo / 123RF

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