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Homesingapore'Underappreciated' admin assistant used director's credit card to rack up S$29,000 online...

'Underappreciated' admin assistant used director's credit card to rack up S$29,000 online shopping bill

SINGAPORE: An administrative assistant who felt increasingly resentful towards her boss and felt “underappreciated” as an employee began using her company director’s credit card to shop for herself on Shopee, Lazada and other platforms.

She splashed out S$29,246 (US$21,416) on online shopping over the span of five months, and used her director’s bank account to pay for her own credit card bills.

In total, the company director suffered losses of more than S$45,000.

Jocelyn Lee Sock Hui, a 28-year-old Singaporean, was sentenced to 15 months’ jail on Tuesday (Oct 24) and ordered to pay the victim S$23,767 in compensation.

She had already separately made restitution of S$22,000.

Lee pleaded guilty to two charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust as an employee, with another three charges taken into consideration.

THE CASE

The court heard that Lee began working as an administrative assistant at Hai-Ou Co in 2014.

She assisted the victim, Hai-Ou director Lee Kin Choi, 78, in his paperwork and dealt with purchasing orders, quotations and invoices.

The victim entrusted Lee with his credit card details and online banking details so Lee could make payments and help him print out bank statements.

He trusted Lee as he was not information technology-savvy and he was unfamiliar with online matters, court documents stated.

Sometime before March 2020, Lee started becoming increasingly resentful towards her boss, as she felt underappreciated as an employee.

She decided to use the victim’s credit card details to buy items for herself on online platforms such as Shopee and Lazada.

She also accessed the victim’s bank account to make payments for the credit card bills she had incurred using his card, as well as for her own credit card bills, between March and July 2020.

On 77 occasions between Mar 5, 2020 and Aug 5, 2020, Lee used the victim’s card to buy items for herself on Shopee.

She spent a total of S$29,246.45.

Lee also committed forgery by falsely covering up the unauthorised transactions with paper and photocopying consolidated bank statements before handing them over to the victim, to avoid detection.

The victim’s daughter-in-law lodged a police report against Lee on Aug 24, 2020.

Lee made restitution of S$22,000 to the victim.

The prosecutor sought 17 to 20 months’ jail for Lee, pointing to the amounts involved, the length of the offending period, the abuse of trust and the measures taken to avoid detection.

The judge allowed Lee to begin her jail term in December. She also has to make full compensation by then, or face another three weeks’ jail in default.

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