Woman pleads guilty to forging layoff letters 2 times to cheat $2,600 during COVID-19 period


A woman repeatedly abused financial support schemes that the Gahmen had set up to deal with the impact of Covid-19.

According to Zaobao, the woman who was working in the Human Resources Department had used her company’s letterhead and her boss’s electronic signature to forge layoff letters to receive the Temporary Relief Fund and COVID-19 Recovery Grant amounting to $2,600 in total.

To help you all refresh your memory a bit, the Temporary Relief Fund (TRF) is a one-off payment of $500 given to those who, among other conditions, had been retrenched from their jobs or suffered at least a 30% loss of personal income due to COVID-19.

As for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant, it was a three-month payment of up to $700 each given to those who had to be unemployed due to retrenchment or involuntary contract termination.

The woman, known as Nurkaziemah Karim, 32, faces eight charges in total. She pleaded guilty to two counts of cheating involving $2,600 in total and one count of forgery. The remaining charges will be considered during sentencing.

Reportedly, between April and October 2021, Nurkaziemah twice used her company’s letterhead to forge layoff letters, falsely claiming that she had been laid off to receive the Temporary Relief Fund and COVID-19 Recovery Grant.

In addition, she also helped her husband to forge layoff letters by claiming that her husband had been laid off, and also successfully defrauded $1,200 from the COVID-19 Recovery Grant and the Temporary Relief Fund.

After being questioned by the authorities, two companies where the defendant worked called the police one after another, and the defendant was eventually arrested.

Her offences came to light when the two companies she worked for received a call from the authorities and discovered that Nurkaziemah had forged the termination letter. She was arrested after the Police were notified.

When questioned by the police, Nurkaziemah lied at first and insisted that she was dismissed. She did not admit her crime until the resignation letter was presented to her.

Nurkaziemah will be sentenced on 28 February.

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