Ex-MediaCorp exec faked invoices, pocketed thousands

A former MediaCorp account director has been sent to jail and fined for offences ranging from forging invoices to using his wife's identity card to gamble at a casino.

On Thursday, Albert Loh Weng Chew, 37, pleaded guilty to nine charges proceeded against him.

These comprised two for forgery, one for misappropriating $14,766, three for using his wife's identity card to enter a casino, and three for failing to pay the casino entry levy.

Loh was sentenced to two months and nine weeks behind bars and fined $2,400.

The court heard that he submitted a false media booking of $36,500 worth of airtime sales to MediaCorp in October 2011. He was instructed to collect the money for the order, and he issued a dud cheque to his then employer.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jurena Chan said the amount of $36,500 was written off by MediaCorp. She added that Loh earned a commission of $1,260 from the phoney deal, which he had since returned to MediaCorp.

Separately, Loh collected a $14,766 cheque from a client to purportedly pay external vendors for its roadshows.

He pocketed the money instead.

After losing his job at MediaCorp, Loh found a job at NHST Media Group Asia as an account manager.

There, he forged two invoices totalling US$25,000 (S$31,000). He recently paid back the amount to NHST Media.

As for his casino-related offences, which were committed between Feb 8 and March 5 last year, Loh had used his wife's identity card to gain access to the casino and failed to pay the entry levy.

Defence counsel Steven Lee said Loh committed the offences as he was hoping to raise money to support his family and ailing parents, and pay for his son's surgery and medical expenses.

Mr Lee said his client, who had climbed the corporate ladder through hard work and diligence, had borrowed money from loan sharks when he found out that his son, then 17 months old, had liver cancer and he had to fork out $36,000 as a deposit for his son's surgery.

As a result of his failure to repay his debts, the lawyer said, Loh was harassed by loan sharks and had his home splashed with paint and graffiti written on a wall at the staircase landing.

Mr Lee said Loh had intended to make a clean start at NHST but due to the constant harassment by loan sharks, he caved in and committed forgery again.

As for his casino-related offences, Loh had resorted to gambling in the hope of making money. He used his wife's identity card to enter a casino because he was under a self-exclusion order.

District Judge Eugene Teo took 15 other charges into consideration when sentencing Loh.

elena@sph.com.sg


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