18 months' jail for CBT involving 102 cellphones

18 months' jail for CBT involving 102 cellphones

An ex-Singtel retail executive who misappropriated 102 mobile phones worth more than $100,000 from her store was jailed for 18 months yesterday.

Rushidah Yusoff, 33, set up a complex scam in which she used customer details to take phones out of the inventory at the ComCentre retail shop near Somerset. She would then sell them elsewhere.

She pleaded guilty last week to two of three charges of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving 89 smartphones worth $86,072 between 2011 and 2012. A third charge involving 13 phones was considered during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Francis Zhang Zeyi said that when an existing customer made an inquiry regarding contract renewal or equipment upgrades but decided not to proceed, Rushidah would use his mobile phone number to create an invoice for either of the services without the customer knowing.

She then used the invoice to withdraw a phone from the shop's inventory room and proceed to the point of sale to scan the phone's International Mobile Station Equipment Identity number. She would then pack it in a bag which she kept in her locker in the staff pantry.

To cover her tracks, at the end of her shift she would edit the daily sales report to balance the number of phones withdrawn from the inventory against the number of contracts issued that day.

She was found out when a retail operations manager conducting a stock-take on Oct 7, 2012 found four phones missing from the inventory.

Checks revealed the cellphones were withdrawn using Rushidah's staff identification code.

She later admitted taking the phones and selling them to dealers in Toa Payoh as she was having financial difficulties. During an internal interview on Oct 16, 2012, she admitted misappropriating eight phones since September 2011. Further investigation found unaccounted phones without accompanying contracts traced to her staff ID since 2010.

She was sacked on Oct 16, 2012. Rushidah, who became a mother last December, has made restitution of $1,865. She could have been jailed for up to 15 years on each charge of CBT as a servant.


This article was published on April 8 in The Straits Times.

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