SINGAPORE: A manager at a cafeteria on Pulau Bukom was jailed for 10 months on Tuesday (Jul 23) for embezzling S$39,000 over three months.

French national Aubert Sebastien Tony Stephane, 47, was hired to work at the Singapore branch of French food services and facilities management Sodexo from Nov 14 last year.

In his role as food and service manager for Sodexo Singapore’s cafeteria Rasa Bukom, Stephane managed petty cash and collected cash proceeds from the cafeteria stalls.

The cashiers from each stall would record cash sales on a sheet and hand the money to Stephane, who would compile the information in a sales summary report recording the day’s earning.

This report would also reflect excess cash collected, such as when money collected exceeded sales figures.

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The money collected by Stephane was to be stored in a safe and handed over to his company every week.

Stephane started taking money from January this year. He began with excess cash sales of S$865.65, which he did not record in the sales summary report.

He took another S$1,541 in February, and S$1,226 the following month from the excess cash sales.

In March, he misappropriated about S$34,000 from cash sales, and pocketed S$742 meant for staff and an ex-employee’s claims.

His embezzlement was discovered during a surprise audit by the company on Mar 20. Money for the period between January and March was found missing from the safe.

Stephane was arrested and remanded from June. He has not made any restitution, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Charis Low. 

Stephane pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust by misappropriation. He told the judge that he met his wife 20 years ago in Thailand and said: “I need to go back to work.”

He could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined.