SINGAPORE: A former employee of the Tembusu Home for the destitute was charged on Monday (Feb 13) for essentially robbing seven elderly residents of their life savings in less than a year.
Former assistant superintendent Chiang Zhao Xiang, 31, faces one count of criminal breach of trust and two counts of cheating, involving more than S$252,000 he swindled out of seven residents aged 52 to 66.
Between May 2014 and January 2015, when he was an assistant superintendent, Chiang was entrusted with control over S$220,476 in the bank accounts of seven elderly residents. He allegedly misappropriated all the money via ATM withdrawals and ATM transfers.
Two victims have since died.
Chiang is also accused of cheating two residents of a total of S$32,000 in November and December 2014.
On Nov 27, he told a 64-year-old victim and resident of the Tembusu Home that he needed S$10,000 to pay for the man’s mother’s medical bills. Believing this to be true, the victim handed Chiang the money in cash.
Barely a week later, on Dec 1, Chiang allegedly swindled S$22,000 out of another victim, telling the man, who has since died, that he needed the money “to help a woman”. Convinced by Chiang’s sad tale, the man handed the money over.
In court on Monday, Chiang said he intends to plead guilty and requested for a two-week adjournment to settle personal affairs before returning to court.
He was released on bail of S$20,000 and is expected to plead guilty on Mar 1. If convicted of criminal breach of trust, Chiang could be jailed up to 15 years and fined. For cheating, Chiang could be jailed up to 10 years and fined.