In the fast-paced world of business, trust and reliability are paramount. However, even in seemingly mundane industries, scandals can unfold.
32-year-old Gabriel Chan Guo Rong, a senior operations associate with Secretlab SG, a chair company in Singapore, misappropriated 209 gaming chairs worth about $118,500 and sold them on Carousell, was caught and sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, according to Channel NewsAsia.
The Setup: A Desperate Plan Unfolds
Chan’s descent into criminal activity began in December 2018 when financial troubles, exacerbated by credit card bills and personal expenses, pushed him to the brink. Faced with mounting pressure, he hatched a plan to misappropriate Secretlab’s gaming chairs.
Tasked with chair distribution, Chan had an insider’s advantage. He knew the company’s delivery schedules and was entrusted with the valuable gaming chairs. This inside information became the linchpin of his scheme.
The Execution: Co-Conspirators and Illicit Gains
Collaborating with Tan Zheng Qiang, a 32-year-old accomplice, Chan carefully planned the misappropriation. The duo conspired to sell the gaming chairs for personal gain.
Between December 2018 and November 2019, Chan and Tan executed their plan meticulously. Chan would discreetly inform Tan about opportune moments to take the chairs from the warehouse without raising suspicions.
Tan, in turn, listed the gaming chairs on Carousell at discounted prices, ensuring quick sales. This clandestine operation allowed them to exploit the online marketplace without authorization.
As orders rolled in, Tan paid Chan approximately S$200 per chair. Chan, facing financial difficulties, amassed around S$40,000, which he utilized to settle his credit card bills and personal expenses.
Discovery and Fallout: Secretlab’s Response
The illicit operation came to light when a Secretlab operations associate discovered their products being sold without authorization on Carousell. This led to the company lodging a police report on October 8, 2019.
Secretlab, in a bid for justice, reached a civil settlement with Chan. The terms stipulated restitution payments of S$300 per month for 50 months, totaling S$15,000, until September 2025.
Secretlab also confirmed that Chan has since been terminated from the company.
Legal Proceedings: The Prosecutor’s Perspective
During legal proceedings, the prosecution argued for a 14 to 16 months’ jail term, highlighting the premeditated nature of the crime and Chan’s exploitation of his role for personal gain.
However, the prosecutor acknowledged Chan’s guilty plea and restitution payments as mitigating factors, showcasing a nuanced perspective on the severity of the offense.
While Chan faced sentencing, the legal saga continued with Tan Zheng Qiang’s case still pending, adding a layer of suspense to the unfolding drama.