SINGAPORE - A former accounts administrator at a KTV lounge was sentenced to three years in jail yesterday for pocketing almost $360,000 from its takings to pay off her gambling debts.
Jasmine Teo Rui Ling, 38, pleaded guilty to committing criminal breach of trust over a three-month period between December 2012 and March 10, 2013.
Teo, who worked at Legend Palace karaoke lounge in Sophia Road, offered to help the cashier bank in the daily takings.
The cashier agreed and would hand over the daily cash proceeds to Teo in a ziplock bag.
Teo tried to cover up discrepancies in the accounts with cash proceeds from subsequent days.
But she was found out after colleagues discovered that funds deposited in Legend Palace’s bank account fell short of the $359,280.60 noted in sales reports.
Teo was confronted and given a chance to return the money, but had paid back only $160,000 by March 22 last year. A police report was then made. To date, $188,000 has been returned.
Teo had previously been jailed in 2004 and 2009 for offences also including criminal breach of trust.
Yesterday, defence counsel Surian Sidambaram said these were committed due to Teo’s gambling addiction, for which she began seeking treatment in 2011.
Teo has since stopped gambling, but committed her most recent crime to pay off debts that had arisen from the habit, the lawyer said. He added she intended to return the money misappropriated from Legend Palace in full.
Teo will start serving her sentence on Feb 24, after District Judge Lim Tse Haw granted her request to spend time with her children over the Chinese New Year period.
She is out on $50,000 bail. She could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.
This article was first published on Jan 29, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.