SINGAPORE: Over the course of one year, a woman misappropriated close to S$60,000 in condominium management fees in order to pay off gambling debts.
Lim Meow Leng, 59, was sentenced to 13 months' jail on Tuesday (Feb 8) after pleading guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust. Another charge was taken into consideration.
The court heard that Lim was an administrative assistant at Barringham International Property Management during the offences from August 2016 to July 2017. The company was the managing agent of Castle Green condominium in Yio Chu Kang.
Lim's job was to collect management fees from residents and hand them over to her manager. For each payment, she was to issue a receipt to the resident and retain a carbon copy of the original.
Lim started to keep the money that she collected from residents in August 2016.
She filled in her own name and bank account number on cheques from residents where the payee's name was left blank. She also gave residents her own bank account number to pay their management fees via Internet bank transfer.
To avoid detection, Lim falsified the carbon copies of receipts by wedging a piece of cardboard between the original and carbon copies before writing on them. She later wrote fictitious amounts of money on the carbon copies for her company's records.
Her offences were discovered when her company started receiving complaints from residents in August 2017. A police report was lodged by the condominium manager and Lim surrendered herself to police on the same day.
Investigations showed that Lim was harassed by unlicensed moneylenders in January 2017 due to debts accrued from her gambling activities, said the prosecution.
Lim has since repaid about S$40,000 of the misappropriated sum.
According to the prosecution, Castle Green Condominium terminated Barringham International Property Management's services after the incident.