S’pore Helper Exploits Elderly Employer’s Dementia & Steals S$18.7K, Gets 5 Months’ Jail

S'pore Helper Exploits Elderly Employer’s Dementia & Steals S$18.7K, Gets 5 Months' Jail

Helper Takes Advantage Of Employer’s Dementia, Steals Her Money

A helper in Singapore took advantage of her elderly employer’s deteriorating memory and withdrew money from her bank account over the course of a year.

The total amount was S$18,710, and the Indonesian national sent most of it home.

On Monday (13 Feb), 39-year-old Mimin pleaded guilty to one charge of theft by servant and was sentenced to five months in jail.

Helper exploits victim’s dementia & steals money

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), Mimin started working for the 71-year-old victim and her bedridden husband in October 2020.

She received a monthly salary of around S$670 to S$690.

Mimin’s job scope included taking care of the couple, cleaning their house, and accompanying her elderly employer to the hospital and supermarket.

While working, she noticed that her employer displayed signs of memory loss and deduced that she had dementia.

When the victim was withdrawing money, Mimin took note of the personal identification number (PIN) that she entered. She also noticed that her employer kept the debit card in her handbag.

Source: Giovanni Gagliardi on Unsplash, for illustration purposes only

As the victim’s memory became worse over time, she trusted Mimin to withdraw money on her behalf.

So, when Mimin helped her employer to withdraw money, she would also keep some for herself. Besides that, she would sometimes steal the card to withdraw money.

Between Jan 2021 and Dec 2022, Mimin stole a total of S$18,710 from her employer’s bank account.

Out of the total sum, she spent S$30 to purchase a pair of earrings and remitted the rest home.

Victim’s daughter realised something was amiss

In Feb 2022, the victim’s daughter was withdrawing money on her mother’s behalf when she sensed that something was wrong.

She noticed that her mother’s bank account balance had decreased significantly to S$100 when it held about S$13,000 in Aug 2021.

After discussing the matter with her brother, the siblings filed a police report three days later.

In her first two police statements, Mimin denied stealing the debit card or any money. She alleged that the victim gave her the card willingly and allowed her to withdraw cash.

Apart from that, she claimed that she would give the money to the victim or used it to buy groceries as instructed.

When confronted with remittance slips from the investigations, Mimin finally admitted to her crimes in the third police statement.

Used money to pay off family’s debts

In court, the prosecutor asked for four to six months’ jail, citing how Mimin did not make any restitution except for the pair of earrings.

Besides that, he stated that she had exploited the victim’s deteriorating memory and denied her crimes initially.

On the other hand, the defence pointed out that Mimin had used the money to help pay off her family’s debts.

The judge also noted that Mimin was going through a difficult period as her father had passed away.

If she had used the money for “entirely frivolous purposes”, such as gambling or buying luxury goods, her sentence might have been doubled, he added.

Mimin, who brought her luggage with her to court, was eventually sentenced to five months in jail.

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