Maid jailed for spending over S$15,000 that was wrongly transferred to her by insurance company

Maid jailed for spending over S$15,000 that was wrongly transferred to her by insurance company

SINGAPORE: After receiving a sum of more than S$17,000 (US$12,700) in her bank account from an insurance company that was meant for someone else’s medical claims, a domestic helper spent about S$15,500 of the sudden windfall.

Micmic Cyndy, a 34-year-old Filipino national, was sentenced to six weeks’ jail on Thursday (Feb 1) for one count of dishonest misappropriation.

The court heard that Cyndy was a maid and held a POSB savings account.

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore received a query from their customer on Jul 24 last year, saying he did not receive payment for his medical claims from the company.

The head of the compliance and risk unit at Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore investigated the matter and realised that the processed claims had been erroneously paid to Cyndy’s POSB account.

The total sum of S$17,151.69 had been paid to Cyndy over five dates between Jun 8, 2023 and Jul 27, 2023, with the first payment the highest at S$15,499.73.

Cyndy knew the money that had been transferred was not hers and that it had been transferred erroneously.

However, she withdrew a total of S$15,560.35 from her account and spent it on herself, including a trip to her hometown in the Philippines between Jun 29, 2023 and Jul 7, 2023.

In August 2023, DBS Bank sent letters to Cyndy, asking her to return the sum that had been deposited wrongly into her account.

Cyndy consented for the remaining unspent amount of S$1,591.34 to be returned to the rightful owner.

However, the remainder could not be recovered and Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore lodged a police report. Cyndy did not make restitution.

The prosecutor sought a jail term but left the duration to the court.

He said the amount dishonestly misappropriated by Cyndy was significant, amounting to a total of S$15,560.35, with no restitution made.

For dishonest misappropriation, an offender can be jailed for up to two years, fined, or both.