Gambling pushes us to desperate lengths. Before some of us can get the help they need to tackle their gambling problem, they have already committed bad deeds. In the case of a former manager at the Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore, a manager’s embezzlement of hospital funds will now see him sent to jail.
Manager Misappropriates Hospital and Patient Funds
The man, Thomas Ng Eng, was found guilty of stealing more than S$343,000 or roughly $250,000 from the facility where he worked at. To this end, he had to cook patient bills and pocket refund cash. He even forged patients’ signatures to try and better cover his tracks.
However, Ng’s gambling and the wake of a crime he left finally caught with him on Tuesday when he appeared contrite in court and pled guilty to a criminal breach of trust and multiple forgery charges. He will now have to spend three years in sentence. His genuine regret has made the court show leniency and drops the number of the original charges, a total number of 30 at first.
Ng’s offenses took place between 2016 and 2018. Parkway Hospitals Singapore, the owner of the Gleneagles Hospital and many other properties in Singapore had to go to extensive lengths to track down the wrongdoing, mandating audits and close scrutiny of all of its records. Eventually, Ng’s misdemeanor was established and a police report was filed in early 2018.
Ng got the idea of pocketing the refund cash after he was notified by the employer that patients can get reduced bills by simply opting for cheaper hospital beds. Even if a patient had been discharged, discounts would still go through which gave Ng sufficient time to alter bills and pocket the money himself instead of sending them to patients.
He specifically targeted foreign patients who were not covered by the same insurance plan as the hospital worked with. In delivering his confession, Ng admitted that he singled out foreigners as he believed that they would not be coming back to the hospital as often. Ng would reduce the final amounts of the bill and even ask subordinates to do the same.
Leniency Shown Despite Calls for Stricter Sentence
He then resorted to forging patient signatures in an attempt to cover his tracks and obfuscate any attempts to find out about his crime. Shortly after the hospital got to the bottom to the story, an arrest warrant was issued and Ng ended up in custody shortly after.
The public prosecutor on the case wanted a lengthier sentence for Ng, asking for at least 4.5 years of prison time. He enumerated the charges and offenses Ng had offended. Regardless, the defendant’s restitution and admittance of guilty swayed the judge’s mind to issue a more lenient ruling.