Former placement agency manager fined for embezzling $4,400

SINGAPORE — A director of a student placement and recruitment agency has pleaded guilty to embezzling $4,400 a client paid for a work permit application.

The customer, a 28-year-old Malaysian, had no idea that Ng Yong Sheng had pocketed the money for himself.

Ng, 37, was fined $6,000 on Tuesday on one count of criminal breach of trust. A forgery charge was considered at sentencing.

The court heard that the woman had engaged the services of Empire Global Recruitment in 2017, in order to obtain a work permit here.

Ng’s duties included helping clients apply for Singapore work permits and collecting fees for services rendered.

After successfully applying for the pass, the woman paid a total of $4,400 in four installments between May and August 2017.

Ng, who collected the money, pocketed the sum. To cover up his wrongdoing, he created four fake invoices and emailed them to the woman.

Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Liew said: ‘The defendant had dishonestly misused the agency fee for his personal benefit.

“In order to cover up his wrongdoing, the defendant made four false…invoices allegedly issued by the company, and sent them to the customer using his email address associated with the company.”

Ng then left Empire Global Recruitment in July 2018 and sold his shares there.

Its violations were revealed following an audit by the firm in August 2018. Its chief executive subsequently filed a police report on January 9, 2019.

DPP Liew, who said Ng’s offense was premeditated, asked the court on Tuesday to fine him between $7,000 and $8,000.

Ng was represented by Mr Paul of Cross Street Chambers. The lawyer, who goes by only one name, said his client was a first-time offender who made full restitution to the firm.

Mr Paul told the court: “The amount involved was not high and the company never lost any money…Ng accepts (the blame) for his mistake…and he is ashamed of his deed.”