SINGAPORE — An OCBC Bank teller siphoned nearly $10,000 from his cash bag to fund a gambling habit.
Over the two months that 26-year-old Zechariah Wong An Yi misappropriated the money, he would avoid detection by replacing the monies he stole from his father and friend’s bank accounts.
He forged his father and friend’s signatures on cash withdrawal forms in order to withdraw their monies.
Wong was jailed for 26 weeks on Monday (25 April) upon pleading guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust as a servant of OCBC. Another four charges of forgery were considered for his sentencing.
Football gambling habit
As a bank teller, Wong was given a cash bag at the start of his shift at the outlet at 520 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh. The money in the bag would be transferred to his teller drawer.
Between 1 October and 28 November 2019, Wong took a few hundred dollars from the cash bag on many occasions. He pocketed a total of $9,989 to feed his gambling habit, often placing bets on football matches.
To avoid detection, before inspections, Wong would replace the money with monies he stole from his friend and father’s bank accounts. He accessed OCBC’s signature verification system on 15 occasions in order to view both of their specimen signatures. He then forged their signatures on cash withdrawal forms and submitted the forms without either being present.
He forged both their signatures twice each, withdrawing $9,489 from the two accounts.
According to court documents, Wong’s father and friend do not expect Wong to return their money.
On 28 November 2019, Wong confessed to a colleague that he had taken money from his cash bag. He asked to borrow $3,800 from the colleague so that he could replace the money in his cash bag. The colleague did not lend him the money and instead reported the matter to their branch supervisor.
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