Woman jailed for car rental scam

A former employee at a car rental firm created fake bookings and then let acquaintances use the vehicles at a discounted price while she pocketed the fees.

Rumiyati Razali (photo), then a project manager in charge of processing rental applications, pulled the scam about 50 times between Feb 2011 and Dec 2012, causing more than $75,000 in losses to C&P Rent-A-Car. Less than $5,000 has been returned.

Rumiyati, 40, was sentenced to 16 months' jail yesterday after pleading guilty to nine charges of cheating and two counts of criminal breach of trust, one of them involving about $3,400 of a locker company's money. A further 43 charges involving C&P Rent-A-Car, largely also for cheating, were taken into consideration.

Her clients included various government agencies such as the Singapore Armed Forces and the Public Utilities Board.

She would key in agencies as customers to book the vehicles and then fabricate excuses in each month's statement of accounts to explain why the clients had not paid.

Rumiyati was caught after leaving C&P Rent-A-Car, when her successor took over her accounts and started contacting the agencies to settle the debts purportedly owed.

District Judge Victor Yeo said Rumiyati's crimes were serious and the amounts involved were not small.

He said the number of charges clearly showed Rumiyati had not acted on the spur of the moment but with careful premeditation.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Chin told the court she had taken steps to avoid detection for the offences, committed over a period of almost two years.

Rumiyati's lawyer said his client is a divorcee with four young children, and is suffering from stage two breast cancer.

He said she committed the offences not for personal gain but to support her family.

However, Judge Yeo agreed with the prosecution that Rumiyati's financial hardship was hardly a mitigating factor.

For each count of cheating her former employer to hand over its property, she could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined.

This article was first published on August 13, 2014.
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