GEORGE TOWN: A former community development assistant with the state Welfare Department has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of embezzlement.
Mohamed Hussain Mohamed Mydin, 41, pleaded guilty to 16 charges of failing to provide a reasonable explanation as to how he came to possess cash amounting to more than RM63,000 at two Magistrate's Courts here.
He pleaded guilty before Magistrate R. Manomani to four cases with three charges for each case under Section 29(1) of the Minor Offences Act 1955, which provides a fine of up to RM1,000 or a maximum one year in jail, or both, upon conviction.
Based on the 12 charge sheets, he was charged with failing to provide a reasonable explanation as to how he came to possess cash in his personal bank account based on deposits between July 2014 and April 2, 2016, amounting to RM52,049.
Based on the facts of the case, a Welfare officer at the Northeast district here made a police report on misappropriation of community aid from the Welfare Department, suspecting a community development assistant of embezzling the money, which was confirmed during an audit report between 2013 and 2017, adding that up to RM107,370 had gone missing.
This led to the police investigation leading to Hussain's bank transactions.
Earlier Deputy Public Prosecutor Fatin Nur Athirah Zainudin urged the court to give Mohamed Hussain an appropriate sentence based on the seriousness of the crime as it was of public interest and to deter others from committing similar crimes.
During mitigation, R. Puran, on behalf of the National Legal Aid Foundation, said Hussain has two children and has to care for his family.
"He has saved the court time and expenses by pleading guilty when charged," he said, urging for a reduced fine and sentencing.
Manomani fined Mohamed Hussain RM1,000 per charge in default two months’ jail should he fail to pay the penalty.
She then sentenced him to three months in jail from the date of sentencing on Wednesday (Aug 4).
At another Magistrate's Court, Hussain pleaded guilty to two cases of embezzlement carrying four charges.
He was charged before Magistrate Rosnee Mohd Ridzuan with failing to provide a reasonable explanation as to how he came to possess cash in his personal bank account, between Jan 2, 2014, and Oct 3, 2016, amounting to RM11,260.
He was charged under Section 29 (1) of the same act.
Rosnee fined him RM1,000 per charge in default of five months’ jail should he fail to pay the penalty as well as one day in jail for each charge, but to be served concurrently.
Hussain was then produced in another Magistrate's Court and charged with nine other similar charges.
A plea, however, was not recorded as the Magistrate was on leave and represented by Assistant Court Registrar Muna Maria Azmi.
The case has been postponed to August 25.