Man jailed 16 months for forgery and CBT

A FORMER accounts supervisor was jailed for 16 months yesterday after shaving almost $300,000 from the accounts of a hair treatment centre.

Lee Wei Loon, 42, admitted forging company cheques and misappropriating cash from Beijing 101 Hair Consultants in 2013.

He would forge the signatures of two of its directors and then deposit the cheques at the United Overseas Bank (UOB) branch in People's Park Complex, a court heard.

After successfully testing that the first cheque cleared, he went on to deposit more, usually of around $20,000 each.

The court also heard that two subordinates had entrusted him with $8,252 collected from customers at roadshows in July and August that year. But instead of depositing the money into the company's bank account, he pocketed it.

Suspicions were aroused when one of the directors received a call from UOB on Aug 27 that year, asking him if he had issued a $20,000 cheque to Lee. He denied it and the cheque was not cleared.

Lee admitted misappropriating funds from the company and also signed a confession note.

The company lost a total of $291,409, but Lee has paid back slightly more - $292,449.

Lee faced 19 charges of forgery and one of criminal breach of trust. He admitted five of forgery and misappropriating $8,252, and said in mitigation that he had been "naive and stupid".

He said his parents sold their HDB flat so that he could make restitution, and his brother now looked down on him for causing financial stress to his parents.

He could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined on each charge of forgery. The maximum punishment for criminal breach of trust is seven years and a fine.

This article was first published on Mar 14, 2015.
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