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Singapore

Nursing home worker admits to siphoning S$47,000 from elderly residents

SINGAPORE: A medical social worker in a nursing home admitted on Friday (May 31) to siphoning about S$47,000 from two elderly residents.

Joney Song Siang Siang, 38, worked at Grace Lodge Nursing Home in Sengkang between June and August 2017, the court heard.

As part of her job, Song cared for 80-year-old Han Lee Fong and 77-year-old Ho Park Tong, and was entrusted with their valuables, including their ATM cards.

She persuaded them to activate their ATM cards, walking them through the activation process while surreptitiously noting down their PIN numbers so she could access their bank accounts.

In July 2017, Song took both men's ATM cards and went to various ATM machines around Singapore to siphon money from their bank accounts either by withdrawing the cash or transferring it, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Yanying.

She took a total of S$40,688.13 over 15 days from Mr Ho's account, and S$6,672 over three days from Mr Han.

The transfers she had made to accounts other than hers were to repay loans she had taken from unlicensed moneylenders, she said.

After taking the money, Song threw away the victims' ATM cards before resigning from her post at the home in August 2017.

Her crime was uncovered in January last year after her job was filled by another person, as her replacement checked the victims' bank account statements and noticed the suspicious transactions.

Song pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of criminal breach of trust. She has since repaid S$25,900 of the total S$47,360.13, and will return to court next month for mitigation and sentencing.

For criminal breach of trust, she could be jailed for up to seven years, fined, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(hm)

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