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Ex-childcare centre administrator jailed for embezzling about S$59,000 in school fees and payments

Ex-childcare centre administrator jailed for embezzling about S$59,000 in school fees and payments

It is easy to say that each person ultimately can decide whether to give their parents a monthly allowance, but individual circumstances and family values can force one’s hand. (Photo: iStock)

SINGAPORE: A former childcare centre administrator embezzled about S$59,000 in school fees and other payments from the school, using the money to pay off loan shark debts and on her own expenses.

Phoong Nyuk Lian Annie, 50, was sentenced to nine months' jail on Thursday (Dec 15). She pleaded guilty to three charges of criminal breach of trust as a servant, falsifying an entry and forging a parent's signature.

Another 35 charges were taken into consideration.

The court heard that Phoong worked as a centre administrator at Sweetlands Childcare Yishun 458 from June 2013 to June 2015, when she was fired.

She was responsible for handling the centre's administrative and finance matters, including liaising with parents to collect enrolment fees, school fees and other miscellaneous payments from them.

Parents had the option of paying in cash, and such payments were recorded in notebooks known as "cash books". Receipts would be issued to them to acknowledge the cash collected.

The cash would then be placed in envelopes, with details on top, and the money would be deposited in the childcare centre's bank account.

Phoong pocketed cash from the parents by placing the money in her handbag or wallet and taking it home after work.

She would not record the collections in the centre's cash book, and did not pass the envelopes to her boss.

If she managed to raise the money she had misappropriated, she would enter records for it in the cash book and return the money.

The director of Sweetlands Yishun, Chan Chew Shia, lodged a police report in July 2015 alleging that Phoong had misappropriated funds belonging to Sweetlands Yishun.

Chan herself was fined S$90,000 in January for colluding with parents to make more than S$133,000 in unauthorised withdrawals from their kids' Child Development Accounts.

Phoong made full restitution for the sums she had pocketed - totalling S$58,948.

She was allowed to defer her sentence to January.

Source: CNA/ll(zl)


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