A Change of Guard

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Sunday, 29 June 2014

One-time Cambodian Association of SA president Seng Kong jailed for stealing $150,000 from own organisation

Leader jailed for stealing $150K from own groupA COMMUNITY leader who ripped off a charity for more than $150,000 has been jailed for fraud.
Seng Kong’s crimes against the Cambodian Association of SA have not only severely damages its financial credibility but also it standing in the community, a court was told.
Kong, a former association president, was convicted of six counts of improper use of his position as an officer to obtain a benefit and was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment in the Elizabeth Magistrates court last week.
A non-parole of six months was set and he was immediately imprisoned.
Kong was caught after an exhaustive investigation and prosecution by Consumer andBusiness Services.
He used $135,000 of the Association’s loan moneys to purchase his own fruit and vegbusiness in Prospect, “which he continues to profit from,’’ according to CBS Kong then used $23,930 of the association’s money to make repayments on the loan in addition to making personal repayments.
The court heard of the profound impact Kong’s actions have had on the association and the local Cambodian Community.
The Association has provided “crucial support’’ for Cambodian people settling into the nation as refugees in the early 1980s.
Prosecuting lawyer Zoe Thomas said the association relied on government funding and the crimes left the association “with an almost insurmountable task of regaining the trust of the community and its credibility with funding agencies’’.
She said that, although Kong has recently paid back the money taken plus interest, “restitution was some two years late and general deterrence must take precedence over any matters of mitigation in this matter’’.

The court ruled that this type of crime was unacceptable behaviour because it involved a serious breach of trust.
Abusing his presidential powers, Kong not only accessed the funds but also blocked attempts by association members to investigate its accounts.
The Magistrate noted the “impact on the Association’s ability to carry out its core role,that its credibility had been lost and its reputation cannot be recovered easily,’’ CBS said.
Acting CBS Commissioner Dini Soulio welcomed the sentence.
“This investigation by CBS has been thorough and complex, and I’m pleased that this sort of abuse of position has been discovered and punished appropriately,” Mr Soulio said.
“This result sends a strong message to people in positions of trust in associations to not treat the association as their personal bank account.”


Anonymous said...

greed... that is why i don't believe in any of their organization ... even the monks here [ US ] are greedy...some of them have been caught having sex and still are not defrocked.

Anonymous said...

the news spread so fast, in 36 hours after he jailed almost all Khmer in Adelaide know about it.He was very well-known in SA.