The investigation into how a ComCare social assistance recipient was issued a blank cheque has concluded and the findings have not determined how this mistake was made. After receiving the cheque and filling in fraudulent sums, the assistance recipient was sentenced to four months in jail.
The incident first came to light after Madam Soh Teng Hua of the Zhenghua CCC reported that a fraudulent amount had been withdrawn from the CCC Community Development and Welfare Fund. The cheque was issued to a Khoo Chin Guan who was scheduled to receive a payment of S$200. Upon seeing that S$8000 had been withdrawn under this name, representatives of the CCC suspected some type of criminal wrongdoing.
Initially it was suspected that the recipient had received the cheque and altered the amounts in some way. However, upon review it was found that the individual in question had actually received a blank cheque, which he then took the liberty of filling in the blank portions of the cheque to reflect the value of S$8000.
Once this problem was realized, an investigation was then launched to uncover how such a mistake could fall through the cracks. The cheques and payments have to pass through a variety of stages before they are cleared and distributed to the recipients including the preparation of the cheque by a secretary and the signature of two authorized individuals.
How a cheque with a mistake that should have been obvious to the individuals involved in the process managed to go unnoticed still remains a mystery and no other cheques with similar mistakes have been uncovered. This incident has caused the CCC to review the approval process and representatives have offered assurances that they will implement measures to guard against further mistakes.