Woman forges 21 company cheques totalling $336,242 -- and gambles all the money away

Elena Chong
The Straits Times
Wednesday, Apr 05, 2017

A former accounts executive forged 21 company cheques amounting to $336,242 over five months and gambled away all the money, a court heard.

On Wednesday (April 5), Tay Hui Ling, 42, was sentenced to seven years' corrective training after admitting to eight charges of forging OCBC Bank cheques purportedly issued by Murray company last year. The remaining 13 charges were taken into consideration.

The court heard that she joined the company in October 2015. One of her responsibilities was to prepare and issue cheques to the company's clients and creditors.

As such, she was entrusted with a blank OCBC chequebook, linked to the company's bank account.

Between Dec 1, 2015, and April 28 last year, she executed a scheme involving the use of cheques contained in the OCBC chequebook. She would insert her name as payee on a cheque, fill in the amount to be paid to her, and fraudulently sign off as the authorised signatory, Mr Satinder Singh Garcha, 44, a director of Murray.

The sums in the proceeded charges were between $20,600 and $25,600.

She then either deposited these cheques into her own bank account or encashed them and obtained cash directly from the bank.

She admitted to starting off her scheme by forging cheques for smaller sums of money. When she became certain that her actions had remained undetected, she began to forge cheques for larger amounts of money.

Mr Singh came to know of Tay's scheme on May 4 last year and lodged a police report the next day. Tay had confessed to the company's accountant that she had been forging company cheques to fuel her gambling addiction. No restitution has been made.

Tay, who had two similar convictions in 2001 and 2008, could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined on each charge.

Corrective training is a prison regime for repeat offenders without the usual one-third remission for good behaviour. The maximum period is 14 years.

The Straits Times

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.