Pinoy Expat Charged for Embezzling Nearly SGD 4 Million from Company

A Singapore-based accountant with access to his company’s checkbooks and bank accounts has been charged of embezzling nearly SGD4 million from his company over four years of working for them, remitting most of the money back home to the Philippines.

For this, the Filipino accountant was sent to court for trial regarding the misappropriation of funds entrusted to him by his company.

Accountant Faces Charges of Embezzling Nearly USD 4M from Company

On Tuesday (September 24), 42-year-old Ariel Biasong Salamanes pleaded guilty to 15 charges including criminal breach of trust and falsification of accounts while another 267 charges were taken into consideration for his sentencing, as shared in a report by Channel News Asia.

According to court reports, Salamanes was employed by QlikTech Singapore, a subsidiary of Swedish firm QlikTech International AB between 2012 and 2017.

Part of his duties under the sales and marketing arm of the international data analytics company required him to handle book-keeping, balance sheets, as well as accounts payable and receivable.

For this reason, he was given access to the company’s checkbooks for the two bank accounts QlikTech owns in Singapore and was authorized to sign singly on company cheques for payments of up to SGD 10,000.

During his tenure, Salamanes signed off on 451 company cheques between April 2013 and June 2017 to get the cash, covering up his crimes by instructing others to make false entries into the company’s electronic accounting system.

According to Deputy Public Prosecutor Cheng Yuxi, Salamanes then made “a startling 835 remittances across 241 days”, transferring about SGD 3.57 million of the money misappropriated from Singapore.

The court learned that most of the money was remitted to the defendant’s home country, with some of it to the United Arab Emirates where he had some credit card debts.

In line with this, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) received information on Jun 13, 2017, that Salamanes might have misappropriated funds from QlikTech by depositing company cheques into his personal bank account.

At that point, QlikTech began its own internal checks and later filed a police report.

The police found out that Salamanes’ OCBC account, which contained about SGD 22,000, was seized, along with items such as remittance slips and cash withdrawal slips.

At present, Salamanes has not made any restitution to QlikTech to date, but the company managed to claim about SGD 3.9 million from its insurer as part of its fraud insurance.

It’s such unfortunate to learn about these kinds of things especially from expats living in Singapore.

The defendant is set to return to court on Wednesday (October 2) for his final sentencing.

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