Representational Image arrest

A 50-year-old man was sentenced to two years of jail term on Monday after he was found guilty of stealing S$276,000 that was meant for his widowed mother. The accused faced one count of charge of dishonestly misappropriating the money.

The convict, Koh Seng Thiam pleaded guilty for misappropriating the money between September 2014 and April 2015.

It started after the father of Koh died on September 14, 2014. His mother, who is now 78, entrusted a POSB account, which was registered under her name and her daughter's name, to Koh to pay for the funeral. She gave the ATM card as well as the personal identification number (PIN) of the account to Koh had about S$23,000.

When Koh returned the ATM card in May 2015 he already had withdrawn a total of S$14,000 for gambling and investing in a business but did not pay for the funeral expenses. He also took money from an OCBC account, which was a joint account of his parents that they opened in 2013. The principal amount was S$100,000 and this deposited amount was matured in November 2014.

But after the death of his father, he removed his name and inserted his own named as a joint account holder. The court documents stated that at the time when the deposit matured on Nov 8, 2014, Koh withdrew the S$100,000 and spent it on gambling and investing in a business.

The father and Koh's mother put S$100,000 as a first principle in UOB account and later they put S$80,000 as the second sum in the same bank account. Koh first withdrew the first principal sum of S$100,000 matured on December 8, 2014, and later the second sum of S$80,000 matured. He spent on gambling and investing in a business. Meanwhile, his mother entrusted him with about S$82,000 to buy an HDB flat for her but spent it in the same fashion.

Koh's brother testified these incidents and exposed his own brother, who allegedly tole various sums of money entrusted to him. However, for criminal breach of trust, usually any guilty faces a jail term up to seven years, fine or both.