Jailed for using boss' money, KrisFlyer miles

She was entrusted to pay her employer's income tax of more than $130,000 and had access to several of his Webbased accounts.

But the 47-year-old former executive assistant of French national Jean Hubert Francois Larenaudie, who is the president of Take-Two Asia, misappropriated the money meant for the taxman and also used her boss' KrisFlyer account to redeem tickets for herself.

Karen Teo Choo Hwa was jailed nine months yesterday for criminal breach of trust of $138,492 on July 9, 2009, and computer misuse on July 20, 2010.

Three other criminal breach of trust charges involving $77,083 were taken into consideration.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Vadivalagan Shanmuga told the court that Teo was given the victim's personal presigned cheques along with the electronic personal identification number access to several Net-based applications, including a Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer membership account.

Teo logged on to her boss' KrisFlyer membership account and redeemed miles for two business-class tickets to San Francisco worth more than $30,000.

She flew there with her boyfriend.

On July 9, 2009, she was entrusted with the victim's blank pre-signed cheque to pay the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore $138,492.

Instead, she made the cheque payable to herself and used the money for her own personal expenditure.

The prosecutor said the victim did not know Teo had used his KrisFlyer account and redeemed 408,000 miles points to buy two businessclass return tickets to San Francisco, worth $30,860, until a routine check.

She confessed when he confronted her.

One of the aggravating factors highlighted by the DPP was that the victim had to recoup the money from Teo only after he had received a lawyer's notice for non-payment of his income tax in 2012.

Teo, who pleaded guilty last month and has paid back the company in full, could have been jailed for up to seven years and/or fined for criminal breach of trust.

The maximum penalty for unauthorised access to computer material is a $5,000 fine and two years' jail.

This article was first published on December 30, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.