Public Prosecutor v Png Lee Yin

CourtDistrict Court (Singapore)
JudgeBrenda Tan
Judgment Date31 October 2022
Neutral Citation[2022] SGDC 254
Citation[2022] SGDC 254
Published date03 November 2022
Hearing Date05 October 2022
Docket NumberDistrict Arrest Case No 910077 of 2022, Magistrate’s Appeal No. 9198-2022-01
Plaintiff CounselDeputy Public Prosecutor Louis Ngia (Attorney General's Chambers)
Defendant CounselAccused in Person.
Subject MatterCriminal Law,Offences,Property,Forgery of a valuable security,Criminal Procedure and Sentencing,Sentencing
District Judge Brenda Tan: Introduction

The accused, Png Lee Yin, a 38-year-old female Singaporean who was acting in person, pleaded guilty to one amalgamated charge of embarking on a course of conduct of forging documents purporting to be valuable securities by forging 15 cheques valued collectively at $94,661.81 by altering the payee’s name to her name with the intention to commit fraud. She forged these 15 cheques purportedly issued by AD Design & Building Private Limited and AD Design Consultant Pte Ltd (“the companies”) between April 2021 and June 2021 when she was employed as a finance executive with AD Design & Building Private Limited (“ADDB”). She deposited the forged cheques into her personal bank account for her own use. The amalgamated charge was preferred under s 467 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 2008 Rev Ed) (“ PC”) pursuant to s 124(4) the Criminal Procedure Code 2010 (“CPC”) and punishable under s 124(8)(a)(ii) of the CPC1. The accused failed to make any restitution for the amount defrauded. I sentenced her to 26 months’ imprisonment. She commenced serving her sentence on the same day.

The accused being dissatisfied with her sentence has filed this appeal from prison.

The charge

The charge against the accused read as follows:

You, are charged that you, sometime between April 2021 and June 2021, in Singapore, did embark on a course of conduct of forging documents which purport to be valuable securities, to wit, you forged 15 cheques valued at approximately SGD$94,661.81 purportedly issued by AD Design & Building Private Limited and AD Design Consultant Pte Ltd in Singapore (“the Companies”), by altering the payee’s name on each cheque to reflect ‘Png Lee Yin’ without the Companies’ knowledge, therefore making false documents with intent to commit fraud, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 467 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 2008 Rev Ed) which is an amalgamated charge pursuant to Section 124(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010, punishable under s 124(8)(a) (ii) of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010.

The statement of facts

The accused admitted to the following statement of facts (“SOF”) without any qualification. The accused is Png Lee Yin, female 38 years old, Singapore Citizen, bearing NRIC No.: …….. During the material time, the accused was employed as a finance executive with AD Design & Building Pte Ltd (“ADDB”).

FIRST INFORMATION REPORT

On 16 June 2021 at about 6.18 p.m., the complainant, one Go Hong Ping, the manager of ADDB, made a complaint to the Singapore Police Force. He stated that the accused, who works in the accounts department, had stolen money from the company’s account by issuing cheque into her own bank account. The incident location provided was the office of ADDB, at 28 Sin Ming Ln #08-148, Midview City, Singapore 573972.

FACTS RELATING TO DAC-910077-2022

The accused began working in ABBD in April 2021. As part of her duties as the company’s finance executive, she was to sort out the invoices from suppliers, and to prepare cheques for their payments. She would prepare cheques for her managing director, one Zhang Jie, to sign. These cheques would be issued in the name of either ADDB or its related company, one AD Design Consultant Pte Ltd (collectively, “the companies”), and were meant to be delivered to the suppliers. A few days after the accused joined the company, the accused designed to forge the Companies’ cheques. The accused’s modus operandi was as follows: The accused would prepare the companies’ cheques by filling up the payee’s name and the amount using a pen with erasable ink (“erasable pen”). The said cheque information would tally with the corresponding invoice; She would then provide Zhang Jie the prepared cheque and the erasable pen for her signature; After Zhang Jie signed the said cheque using the said erasable pen, the accused would fraudulently alter the cheque by erasing the payee’s name and replacing it with her own name. She would also erase the stated amount, and fraudulently insert an amount she desired. These would be done without the Companies’ knowledge. The accused would then deposit these cheques into her personal bank account, for her own use. Between April 2021 and June 2021, in Singapore, the accused employed her modus operandi to forge 15 of the companies’ cheques, valued at approximately SGD$94,661.81 in total, with intent to commit fraud. These cheques were all encashed into either the accused’s personal POSB bank account (account number XXX) or UOB bank account (account number XXX), and she used the sums for her own use. The said cheques are:
S/N Date stated on cheque Cheque amount (SGD) Deposited into
1 1 June 2021 3348.09 Accused’s POSB bank account
2 1 June 2021 2002.50
3 7 May 2021 7094.61
4 7 May 2021 4655.05
5 7 May 2021 6550
6 27 April 2021 6735.15
7 27 April 2021 7886.5
8 21 April 2021 8899
9 7 May 2021 8888
10 7 May 2021 8866.69
11 6 April 2021 5680 Accused’s UOB bank account
12 6 April 2021 7889.15
13 6 April 2021 6324.65
14 12 April 2021 7860.50
15 3 May 2021 1981.92
Total amount: SGD$94,661.81
Thus, between April 2021 and June 2021, in Singapore, the accused did embark on a course of conduct of forging documents which purport to be valuable securities, to wit, she forged 15 cheques valued at approximately SGD$94,661.81 purportedly issued by the companies, by altering the payee’s name on each cheque to reflect ‘Png Lee Yin’ without the companies’ knowledge, therefore making false documents with intent to commit fraud. The accused has thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 467 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 2008 Rev Ed) which is an amalgamated charge pursuant to Section 124(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010, punishable under s 124(8)(a)(ii) of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010. The accused admitted that she committed the offence out of greed. Every time she encashed a forged cheque into her personal bank account, she would use the monies for her own expenditure, which comprised mostly of online gambling. The accused admitted in investigations that she was not addicted to gambling but forging the companies’ cheques “became easy money for me when I got away with it”. The accused’s offence only came to light when the said Zhang Jie realised sometime in June 2021 that the companies’ account balances were falling very quickly. Having checked the account, she noticed that there were suspicious cheque payments made, and she asked the accused for the corresponding invoices. The accused delayed providing the invoices by claiming that...

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