Secretary took nearly $500,000 from law firm

Secretary took nearly $500,000 from law firm

A former law firm secretary who misappropriated almost $500,000 over 61/2 years was sentenced to 40 months' jail yesterday for forging cheques and falsifying accounts.

Noriza Aziz, 44, had been employed by AsiaLegal LLC when she committed 209 offences between December 2006 and May 2013.

Now a part-time worker, she pleaded guilty to 39 counts and had the remaining 170 charges taken into consideration during her sentencing.

She has made partial restitution of $379,800, leaving an outstanding sum of $109,400.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chew Xin Ying said that on May 13, 2013, one of AsiaLegal's directors discovered payment vouchers on Noriza's table and informed a fellow director.

An internal investigation was carried out.

Noriza lodged a police report on May 22 that year admitting to having misappropriated about $500,000 from the firm.

The court heard that she would forge and doctor cheques by writing words and figures to inflate the amounts.

She would also submit fake payment vouchers to the bookkeeper at the end of the month.

Noriza's lawyer Louis Joseph said in mitigation that the mother of two was "extremely remorseful" and had learnt a "painful lesson" from her misdeeds.

She could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined on each count of forgery. For falsifying accounts, she could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined.

This article was first published on May 14, 2015.
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