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Former HR exec jailed 4 years for cheating firm of S$454,000 using ex-employees’ payroll details

SINGAPORE — While tasked with maintaining her employer’s payroll system, Angeline Fu exploited a loophole to transfer almost S$500,000 to her own bank accounts over a span of one-and-a-half years.

SINGAPORE — While tasked with maintaining her employer’s payroll system, Angeline Fu exploited a loophole to transfer almost S$500,000 to her own bank accounts over a span of one-and-a-half years.

She used the money to settle her father’s debts, buy gifts for her family members and pay for her personal expenses.

Fu, who is now pregnant with her second child, was jailed for four years on Thursday (June 24) after pleading guilty to three counts of cheating.

The 25-year-old Singaporean will begin serving her sentence immediately.

She was working as a human resource executive at construction firm Formwork Hire SEA when she committed the offences from June 2018 to January last year, the court heard.

She had joined the firm in April 2018 and her duties included handling the payrolls of employees and construction workers and being solely responsible for maintaining the company payroll system, which was linked to the firm’s account with United Overseas Bank.

For the employees' payroll, Fu was involved in recording salaries and transferring money from them back to the company for certain expenditures that were not covered by the company.

The finance department would tell Fu about the amounts to be clawed back from staff members.

As for the construction workers’ payroll, she was involved in salary payments to those from Formwork’s subcontractor, Yong Tai Construction, whenever Formwork needed extra manpower.

Formwork did not pay these workers directly but would issue a cheque to Yong Tai for their salaries.

Fu soon realised that the names and addresses of some employees remained in the system even after they had resigned.

She then modified these employees’ payrolls, such as by keying in certain amounts to be transferred to them. She also keyed in money to be transferred to Yong Tai’s workers for their salaries, even though Formwork would issue a separate cheque for the salaries.

She provided her own bank details instead of the former employees’ details so that the money would go to her.

Within the period of her offences, she received S$454,872 in her bank accounts over 40 occasions.

Sometime last year, when Fu was away on a holiday, another employee logged into the payroll system and saw the transfers made to her accounts.

A senior accountant then lodged a police report against her, after which Fu made partial restitution of S$11,000 to Formwork.

In mitigation, her lawyer Kalaithasan Karuppaya told the court that she suffers from major depressive disorder and has a one-year-old child.

She is due to give birth again next year.

In response, Deputy Public Prosecutor Hidayat Amir said that Fu’s psychiatric report does not state that her mental disorder had a causal or contributory link to her offences.

For each cheating charge, she could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this report, it was stated that Fu was sentenced to two years' jail. This is incorrect. She was jailed for four years. We are sorry for the error.

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crime court cheating HR payroll salary

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