An Indonesian domestic worker who forged her employer’s signature on 42 cheques totaling S$108,315 to gamble, has been sentenced to jail for 21 months on Monday (31 Oct).
At the district court hearing, Ai Teti (37), pleaded guilty to 10 charges of forgery. Another 33 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing, this included theft of a commemorative gold coin.
Ai who had worked for her employer, Yong Fong Peng (68), for 13 years with no prior records, was revealed to have stolen a United Overseas Bank cheque book from her employer’s bedroom in May 2015. Soon after, she began to issue cheques to herself.
She wrote her name on the cheque as the payee, filled in the amount to be paid, and forged a signature purportedly belonging to Yong. For the forging of signatures, Ai referred to previous receipts and cheques that Yong had signed.
She cashed the forged cheques and there were no attempt of repayments of the amount back to her employer. She spent the money on gambling and has also sent some back to Indonesia.
On 24 November 2015, Yong received her UOB statement and her offences began to came to light after. Yong noticed that there had been suspicious withdrawals over the past few months and she lodged a police report.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Chew Xizhi sought a sentence of 18 to 20 months’ jail, she said Ai Teti had abused the trust of her employer. She said the offences were planned and there was a significant loss of more than S$100,000.
She stated the accused should not be categorised as a first-time offender.
Ai Teti asked for concession and promised not to commit any offence in future. She also said she wished to go home as soon as possible.
Her sentence was backdated to 7 October. For her offence, Ai could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for each count of forgery.