Primary school employee jailed for misappropriating pupils’ money

April 2, 2019
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A primary school customer service officer misappropriated more than $41,000 of the money paid by pupils for items such as school trips and co-curricular activities (CCA).

Siti Rafeah Abd Hamid, 44, was working at Frontier Primary School in Jurong West when she committed the offences. The school only realised it when it could not pay a CCA vendor due to insufficient funds.

The mother-of-five was jailed for four months on Monday (April 1) after she pleaded guilty to one count of criminal breach of trust involving more than $36,000.

A second similar charge involving $4,800 was taken into consideration during sentencing.

She joined the school in January 2012, and as part of her job scope between January and November 2017, she was entrusted with monies for various activities such as school trips and CCA activities.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Deborah Lee said: “These monies were collected by teachers from students and handed over to the accused.

“The accused was supposed to record these monies in the school system before handing the monies over to the operation manager. The operation manager would then deposit the monies into the school’s bank account.”

In July last year, the school realised that it could not pay a CCA vendor, and internal investigations later revealed that Siti did not hand over more than $36,000 to the operation manager.

The school’s vice-principal alerted the police on July 27 last year.

Defence lawyer T. M. Sinnadurai said this was Siti’s first brush with the law.

The lawyer also said she had fully co-operated with the authorities.

For criminal breach of trust, she could have been jailed for up to sev

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