SINGAPORE: A former branch manager at a food court was jailed 10 months on Friday (Aug 23) for pocketing more than S$34,600 from the company over eight months.
Neo Say Lam, 42, started working at Food Junction in Century Square shopping mall in August 2017.
His duties included the collection of cash sales from all tenants, depositing these into the company's bank account, monitoring tenant sales and managing the branch's petty cash.
Between September 2018 and May 2019, Neo began taking portions of the end-of-day sales from the food court tenants for himself instead of depositing the entire sum.
He took between S$100 and $200 for his own use. In total, he embezzled S$34,637.79 from the Food Junction outlet to pay off his gambling debts.
A Food Junction human resource manager filed a police report in May this year, saying Neo had stolen cash from the company.
Neo pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust by misappropration.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Asoka Markandu asked the court to sentence Neo to between 10 and 12 months' jail, saying he had made no restitution and had said he was unable to do so.
Neo, who was unrepresented, told the judge that it was his first time committing such an offence.
"I just wish that your honour will consider to lighten my sentence as my father just passed on and my mum is wheelchair-bound," said the man. "I would like to faster serve my sentence and reunite with my family."
The judge granted him a phone call after the hearing, before serving his sentence.
For criminal breach of trust by misappropriation, he could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.