Ex-principal misappropriates nearly $80,000 of public funds to pay ex-husband's gambling debts

To pay off the gambling debts of her husband, a 54-year-old ex-kindergarten school principal misappropriated nearly S$80,000 of public funds and was sentenced to a 5-month prison term. 

The accused faces four charges of a criminal breach of trust for pocketing S$71,9185 between August 2010 and July 2013, reports Lianhe Wanbao

The accused served as a principal in a PAP Community Foundation (PCF) kindergarten branch at Jurong West, and now works a desk job at a local company. 

Prior to the incident, the school fees, registration fees and various miscellaneous fees were managed by the accused alone who was in charge of transferring the sum to the kindergarten bank account. 

She had to transfer the collected sum to the account by the following day if the sum exceeded S$500. 

However, the accused had kept a portion of the money for her own. 

After the incident, an anonymous person reported the case to the PAP Community Foundation and the accused was tried and sentenced. 

According to the accused’s representative, she was married to her ex-husband for 24 years, but divorced in 2000 when she found out that he had been cheating. 

To sustain his gambling habits, her husband also borrowed large sums of money from relatives, and left the accused with heavy debts.

Her ex-husband disappeared, abandoning her and their two children in 2012.

He also left a debt that amounted to nearly S$90,000. 

Although the accused tried paying off the debt with her salary, she was unable to, due to the compound interests.

Trapped by the mountain of debts, she was forced to misuse the kindergarten funds.