Former NUS researcher jailed for making false claims of almost S$40,000


A former research fellow was on Monday (Jul 25) jailed for 20 weeks for making almost S$40,000 worth of false claims from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Thomas Teh Kok Hiong, 42, started serving his sentence immediately. He earlier pleaded guilty to five counts of cheating and two counts of forgery. Eighteen other similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court previously heard that Teh doctored receipts and invoices to justify the false claims he made for personal items as well as purchases he did not actually make.

Between October 2010 and September 2018, he submitted 22 expense reports and duped NUS into reimbursing him for expenses he claimed were for research purposes.

Teh also forged payment documents to get approval for claims on two occasions.

In October 2017, he engaged a shop to install solar film for his car and paid S$300 for the personal purchase. He later used a blank invoice issued by the shop to claim S$4,815 for “UV protective film for lab hood and cabinets” from NUS.

In January 2018, he entered S$2,820 into a blank cash sale document to support an expense claim for research equipment. He had actually spent about S$1,000 on a labeler and radio for his own use.

Court documents did not say how Teh’s offences were discovered.

Teh, who was with NUS’ Department of Biomedical Engineering at the time of the offences, has made full restitution to the university, his lawyer previously told the court.

The penalty for cheating is up to three years’ jail, a fine or both, while the punishment for forgery is up to four years’ jail, a fine or both.



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