AS THE executive secretary for a director of one of the 'Big Four' accounting firms here, Siew Siu Yin, 45, was a trusted employee.

Reporting to Mr Kikuo Yokota, 65, she managed the administrative matters of one of the units in KPMG, and also attended to some of his personal matters.
A year into her job, in July 2003, she began stealing his money by forging his signatures on cheques from his chequebook. Over the next seven years, she helped herself to $642,000 of his money. Yesterday, she pleaded guilty to 23 out of the 164 charges she had racked up. The remaining charges will be considered when she is sentenced in about two weeks.

Siew was able to cover her tracks by forging Mr Yokota's signature on letters she wrote to Singapore Post in which he 'authorised' a diversion of his bank statements to a post office mailbox to which only she had access. He stopped receiving his bank statements.

When he asked her in April 2007 to inquire at the bank about this, she promptly forged 20 OCBC bank statements for his inspection. Covering the period April 2003 to January 2007, they did not show the fraudulent withdrawals.

He found out what she was doing in July 2007 when he called the bank himself, but gave her a second chance.

Forgiven but she stole again