Over a period of six years, Wong Huey Min stole more than S$1.6 million (US$1.18 million) from her employer by forging her boss’ signature on 159 cheques. The former accounts executive at Royal Garment Factory was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail on Tuesday after she pleaded guilty last month to 20 counts of forgery, TODAY reported.
According to court documents, most of the embezzled money went to paying off her husband’s gambling debts, but no further details were revealed. Another 139 similar charges were considered for the 55-year-old’s sentencing.
It was in 2009 that Wong, who was in charge of the company’s chequebooks, hatched the plan to pilfer the money for herself or her husband. She had also been given the chequebooks of Royal Realty, which was run by the same owner, Heng Yang How. The year after, she was given complete control of Royal Garment Factory’s finances.
Whenever her boss asked to have a look at the company’s accounts, Wong would always assure him that everything was going smoothly. According to TODAY, it was only in 2013 that suspicions arose after the bank statements of both firms did not tally with Wong’s records of company accounts.
So to cover her tracks, she forged bank statements by printing out figures and pasting them on the original statements before photocopying the documents. Eventually, a shareholder of Royal Garment lodged a police report in 2015, but by then, Wong had stolen about S$1.67 million (US$1.24 million) from the company.
District Judge Wong Li Tein took into consideration that Wong was highly trusted, “systematic” and “persistent” when it came to stealing the money without being detected. He also noted the prolonged period of the offences and her lack of restitution.
Wong’s case had been adjourned from Aug 24, the date of her conviction, to allow her to complete a transfer of property to repay the funds, as part of an agreement with her former company. But the court heard on Tuesday that Wong would not be doing so.
Her lawyer said she would be appealing against the sentence.