SINGAPORE — Feeling unappreciated by her boss, a former administrative assistant decided to use his credit card details to go on an online shopping spree where she purchased goods amounting to more than S$36,000.
Jocelyn Lee Sock Hui, 28, was sentenced to 15 months’ jail on Tuesday (Oct 24) after she pleaded guilty to one count of cheating and one count of committing criminal breach of trust.
Two other similar cheating charges and one charge of forgery were taken into consideration during sentencing.
The court heard that she started working as an administrative assistant to a director at Hai-Ou, a company that sells medical, professional, scientific and precision equipment, in 2014.
Lee’s role included assisting with paper work and she was entrusted with the director’s credit card and online banking details to make payments as well as print out bank statements.
Sometime before March 2020, Lee started to become increasingly resentful of her boss as she felt unappreciated as an employee.
She then decided to use her boss’ credit card details to purchase items for herself through online platforms, said Deputy Public Prosecutor R Arvindren.
Lee also accessed her employer’s bank account to make payments for the amount that she incurred on her boss’ credit card and for her own credit card bills.
On 77 occasions between March 5 and Aug 5, 2020, Lee used the Shopee application to do online shopping.
She bought numerous items using her employer’s Standard Chartered credit card which amounted to a total of S$29,246.45.
Lee also made seven transactions through Lazada which amounted to S$6,700.70, and spent S$449 on products from local cosmetics company Roxie Design Lab — these were the subjects of the two cheating charges taken into consideration.
Altogether, she used his credit card to spurge a total of S$36,396.15 on herself.
Between March 30 and July 29 in 2020, Lee used her employer’s Standard Chartered bank account to make payment for credit card bills, amounting to a total of S$22,821.73.
To prevent her boss from detecting the unauthorised transactions, Lee falsely covered up the transactions with cut-out paper and photocopied the consolidated bank statements before handing them over.
Lee has since left the job and made restitution of S$22,000 to her former employer.
ABUSE OF TRUST
DPP Arvindren sought 17 to 20 months’ jail for Lee, arguing that the offences were serious given the large sums involved.
He added that there was also an abuse of trust as Lee’s boss had entrusted her with his credit card for work purposes but she had misused it out of resentment against her boss.
Defence counsel Wasiur Rehman called for a 15 months’ jail sentence instead in his mitigation plea for his client.
Mr Rehman said that this was Lee’s first job and she had been rather naive when things turned sour after she made small mistakes that were met with negative feedback from her boss.
Mr Rehman, did note however, that his client’s response to her boss was wrong.
For committing criminal breach of trust, Lee could have been jailed up to 15 years and fined.
For each cheating charge, Lee could have been jailed up to 10 years and fined.