Bank clerk embezzled $ 628,000 to pay bogus lender
SINGAPORE – A bank worker in need of money to pay off growing debt has embezzled funds from her business to pay off an approved lender who turned out to be a con artist.
For two months, Nurashikeen Sinin embezzled money from his employer PT Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI).
By the time the 37-year-old Singaporean woman got honest, she had siphoned off at least $ 628,000 – 25 times the loan amount she originally requested from the bogus pawnshop.
Nurashikeen was jailed for four years on Wednesday (January 5) after pleading guilty to one count of breach of trust as a domestic worker. One count of falsifying documents was taken into consideration for his conviction.
The Singaporean had joined BNI in 2001 and was promoted to supervisor at BNI’s Limited Purpose Branch (LPB) at the time of the 2020 offenses. She was earning a salary of $ 4,200.
As part of his job, Nurashikeen counted cash in BNI LPB’s safe at the end of the day, prepared and submitted the day’s cash balance sheet, and supervised cashiers, collecting cash and remittance documents from of them.
Nurashikeen was also given the discretion to decide when to transfer excess cash to BNI’s main branch.
As of 2020, Nurashikeen had over $ 83,000 in unpaid debts, including $ 34,600 from credit cards, $ 12,400 from licensed pawn shops and a personal loan from BNI of $ 36,700.
To repay her debt, Nurashikeen turned to another loan shark. She found a lender’s advertisement online through a URL not knowing it was a scam.
On October 12, 2020, Nurashikeen contacted the scammer via WhatsApp and asked him to pay an administrative fee of $ 2,500 before the company could disburse a loan of $ 25,000. Nurashikeen made the payment but did not receive the loan. The next day, he was told to pay a guarantee fee of $ 2,500 and then $ 5,000 to secure the loan. She followed the instructions but still did not get the loan. That day, under increasing pressure to settle his debts, Nurashikeen began to embezzle funds from LPB.
She pocketed $ 5,400 in cash and gave most of it to the scammer. Between that date and November 12, 2020, Nurashikeen was asked to pay more fees and sometimes received documents allegedly from DBS Bank and the “Department of Internal Security” requesting more fees.
Due to her desperation and belief that the money would be returned to her, Nurashikeen continued to transfer funds which she embezzled from LPB.
She embezzled at least $ 628,000 in cash, which she deposited into her account before transferring to the scammer. To cover up her mischief, Nurashikeen falsified the opening and closing cash balances of LPB’s daily cash balance sheets, which showed the initial amounts before she stole the money.
In total, she transferred $ 735,000 to the scammer, comprising the money she pocketed from BNI and $ 97,750 from her own funds. It is not known where she produced the remaining sum. She never received her promised loan.
On November 12, 2020, BNI headquarters were informed that Nurashikeen had behaved in an unusual manner. A customer service manager decided to carry out a surprise check of the cash count at LPB. Nurashikeen texted this employee asking her to meet with her the next day when she confessed to the offenses.
Nurashikeen was fired on November 14, 2020. She filed a police report against the scammer five days later.
BNI was unable to recover the funds as they had been transferred to unknown accounts. Nurashikeen was unable to return any money as she is an unreleased bankrupt.
When asked by District Judge Marvin Bay how she got into debt, Nurashikeen lawyer Suppiah Thangaveloo said, “The tragic story of this is that she never really shared any challenges, even with members of his family. Everything was handled by her, if she was talking to anyone someone would have said it was a pretty dumb thing to do, borrow money to pay someone.
The lawyer added that Nurashikeen’s highest level of education is N-Levels.
“She’s been working in a bank for a long time, so I don’t think she has any other exposure. He’s just a very simple person, ”he said.
Nurashikeen had been caught in a “vicious cycle”. After discovering that Nurashikeen worked for a bank, the con artist also threatened to confront his employer.
DJ Bay then asked the lawyer if Nurashikeen if she had requested a loan of $ 25,000 and ended up paying 25 times the amount, and the lawyer answered “yes”.
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