Clinic business

Jail for woman who embezzled nearly $550,000 while working for clinic operator

SINGAPORE — A woman embezzled nearly $550,000 while working for a company that operates a clinic called Vascular & Interventional Center in Novena Specialist Centre.

Among her misdemeanors, she embezzled $155,000 using pre-signed blank checks entrusted to her to pay vendors.

Fauziah Mat Perlam, 47, pleaded guilty Thursday (April 21) to two counts of breach of trust involving $155,000 and $158,682 (about S$216,300), and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

She also admitted to a cheating charge involving more than $25,000.

Two other charges related to the remaining amount were considered at sentencing. She made no restitution.

The court heard that Fauziah was administrative head of the Vascular and Interventional Group when she committed the offences.

She worked there from February 23, 2015 until December 4, 2020, when the company terminated her employment.

Assistant Attorney General Melina Chew said Fauziah was responsible for all financial, accounting and general administrative matters at the clinic.

These included collecting money from patients, paying vendors, and collecting cash from the business at the end of each month.

Fauziah also had management access to the clinic’s client management system called Plato which stored, among other things, patient records.

These access rights allowed him to create and modify invoices on Plato.

In addition, she is entrusted with blank checks issued in the name of the company and pre-signed by the company’s medical director.

He was the authorized signatory for amounts of $50,000 and less.

The pre-signed checks were given to Fauziah to ensure that payment to the vendors could be made quickly and not be affected by the Medical Director’s frequent overseas travel.

The DPP said that on four occasions between February and October 2019, some clinic workers traveled to Myanmar to provide medical treatment to patients.

Fauziah, who also provided administrative support, received four payments totaling US$158,682 for medical treatment provided there.