61-year-old woman took $217,000 from employer and gave it to male online friend

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Jan 4, 2023

A woman unlawfully moved more than $217,000 of her employer’s monies to her own bank account before transferring the amount to a male online friend.

Wong Oi Ling, 61, had also befriended another man online and opened several bank accounts at his request.

One of the accounts was later used to receive $10,000 from a 43-year-old woman who was a love scam victim.

Wong was sentenced to two years and two months’ jail on Wednesday after she pleaded guilty to two counts of cheating and one of theft.

At the time of the offences, she was working as an accounts and administration manager at Angel Accents, a firm dealing in women’s accessories.

In September 2019, she befriended a man known as Rob Walter Kwok on Facebook.

He told her that he was working in Scotland and the pair became close over time.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Phang said that in October 2019, Kwok told Wong that he had met with an accident and needed money to pay for an operation as well as other medical expenses.

He also asked Wong if she could send him some money.

She then hatched a plan to transfer funds from Angel Accents’ bank account to her personal one.

On 20 occasions between Oct 22, 2019, and Aug 11, 2020, Wong transferred more than $217,000 of the firm’s cash to her own bank account before sending it to Kwok.

Some time between December 2020 and January 2021, the firm’s bank notified a director at Angel Accents about the fund transfers.

After conducting a check, the director confronted Wong, who came clean about what she had done.

Wong initially agreed to make $1,000 in restitution each month from January 2021. She also told the director that she was expecting an insurance payout of around $100,000 in August 2021.

Wong initially kept her word and paid $1,000 to the firm each month from January to March 2021. But she later failed to make more payments and the director alerted the police on Sept 20, 2021.

Separately, Wong also befriended another man known only as Jason on Facebook in November 2020.

In March 2021, Jason told her that he had a hole in his lung, for which he needed an operation. Jason also claimed that his friend, known only as “Hendry”, would be helping him foot the medical expenses.

Jason, who claimed that Hendry ran a medication oil business, then asked Wong to help Hendry open bank accounts in Singapore, to purportedly help them receive payments from clients.

DPP Phang said: “Jason... claimed that he was working in Turkey and unable to access his own bank accounts.

“Jason also instructed the accused to send the ATM cards for the accounts to a specified address in Malaysia. The accused agreed to Jason’s request.”

Wong later opened accounts with financial institutions including Maybank Singapore and CIMB. She duped the banks into believing that she would be the sole operator of the accounts, when she was not.

Wong later sent a parcel containing four ATM cards to a Malaysian address that Jason had given her.

Meanwhile, in June 2021, a 43-year-old woman got to know a “Davis Goh” on an online dating platform. Three months later, Davis asked the woman for financial assistance, and she agreed to help him.

Davis then provided her with the account number of one of the bank accounts that Wong had opened. The younger woman transferred $10,000 to it, and this sum has not been recovered.

Court documents did not disclose the outcome of the cases involving Kwok, Goh and Jason.

The Straits Times

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