Undertaker jailed for embezzling $17,100 in funeral payments

Hannah Teoh
Senior Content Producer
Singapore State Courts (AFP Photo/Mohd Fyrol)

As an undertaker with Hindu Casket, Karupaya Silvakumar was responsible for collecting payments for funeral services from customers and delivering the money to his employer’s office.

Instead, the 62-year-old pocketed a total of $17,100 over four separate occasions.

On Friday (12 January), Silvakumar was jailed eight months after he pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust by a clerk or servant.

The court heard that Silvakumar had worked for Hindu Casket, a subsidiary of Direct Funeral Services (DFS) since 2015. He was paid $2,000 a month.

Between 17 April and 9 May last year, he collected $17,100 in cash from four invoices.

Silvakumar kept the money instead of handing it over to DFS. He then stopped reporting for work and became uncontactable on 13 or 14 May.

DFS discovered the missing payments on 19 May and confronted Silvakumar on 25 May. The company offered to allow him to make restitution by deducting $1,000 from his pay every month, but he refused.

Silvakumar used the money to repay personal debts and expenses. To date, no restitution has been made, said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Victoria Ting. DPP Ting asked for at least seven months’ jail for the offence.

Silvakumar, who was unrepresented, asked for a lenient sentence. He told the court he had also sought an adjournment to try and raise funds to make restitution but was unable to do so.

District Judge Imran Abdul Hamid sentenced him to eight months’ jail.

The maximum punishment for criminal breach of trust is a jail term of up to 15 years and a fine.

More Singapore stories

Singaporeans enjoy cool temperatures as mercury dips below 22°C in places

Stranger ‘slapped and kicked’ boy in Sengkang; police investigating