Jailed for pocketing money from clients

A 43-year-old former insurance agent was jailed for 14 months on Thursday for misappropriating $43,203.

Chua Guat Hong had pocketed money from clients to pay her gambling debts and for personal expenses from 2010 to 2012.

She admitted to two of three charges of criminal breach of trust as an agent.

Her offences were discovered in 2012 after a client became suspicious when she did not receive a receipt or policy documents for an endowment savings policy that she had signed up for.

Madam Tan Siew Choo, 49, who is self-employed, then went to Great Eastern Life Assurance on Sept 28, 2012 and found out that Chua had resigned.

The insurance company did not have any record of her purchase of the policy in question.

The court heard that Madam Tan had known Chua since 2010, when she bought an Endowment 5 savings policy from her.

In July 2012, she wanted to buy a similar policy and contacted Chua.

They met in Choa Chu Kang on Aug 12 that year.

Madam Tan handed Chua about $7,600, the yearly premium after taking into account vouchers of $400.

Chua told her that the computer generated official receipt and policy documents would be mailed to her later.

Investigations showed that Chua had pocketed Madam Tan's cash as well as money entrusted to her by 11 other customers.

The single mother of one could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined on each charge.

This article was first published on Mar 1, 2015. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.