SINGAPORE - A former legal secretary who misappropriated about $214,000 was jailed for 30 months yesterday. Juliana Abu Bakar, 39, was ordered to serve another six weeks in prison for using counterfeit stamp duty certificates.
Juliana, who has previous convictions for forgery and theft, used the misappropriated money to pay for gambling losses.
She has paid back $10,000 to one of the directors of Atkins Law Corporation, where she was working when she committed the latest crimes over 10 months in 2012.
Part of her job as a conveyancing secretary was to prepare documents for property transactions, collect stamp duty and conveyancing money, and pay the relevant parties and the authorities.
On Nov 12, 2012, an Atkins staff member realised that no stamp duty had been paid for one of its conveyancing cases.
When she called the buyers, she was told that they had already paid in cash. They also forwarded a payment receipt.
Following checks, it was found that the cash was not handed over to the law firm, and the receipt was not an official one.