Indian-origin official admits to cheating Singapore’s football body of over S$1.4 million

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How he misappropriated the funds

Sundramoorthy Selvaraj, a former deputy director of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), has pleaded guilty to cheating the organisation of more than S$1.4 million over a period of four years. He faces up to 10 years in jail and a fine for each of his 38 charges of cheating.

According to the court documents, Sundramoorthy was in charge of managing the FAS’s finances and accounts. He had access to the FAS’s bank accounts and cheque books. He also had the authority to approve payments and reimbursements for FAS staff and affiliates.

Between January 2015 and July 2019, Sundramoorthy abused his position and authority to misappropriate funds from the FAS. He did so by:

  • Issuing cheques to himself or his personal bank accounts, claiming that they were for official FAS expenses or reimbursements. He forged the signatures of the FAS president or general secretary on the cheques.
  • Submitting false or inflated claims for reimbursement of his personal or non-FAS related expenses. He forged receipts or invoices to support his claims.
  • Transferring funds from the FAS’s bank accounts to his personal bank accounts, claiming that they were for official FAS expenses or reimbursements. He forged the approval emails or forms from the FAS president or general secretary.

In total, Sundramoorthy cheated the FAS of S$1,457,419.59. He used the money for his personal expenses, such as paying off his debts, buying luxury goods, gambling, and travelling.

How he was caught and exposed

Sundramoorthy’s fraudulent scheme was uncovered in July 2019, when the FAS’s finance manager noticed some discrepancies in the FAS’s bank statements. He alerted the FAS’s general secretary, who then confronted Sundramoorthy. Sundramoorthy admitted to his wrongdoing and was suspended from his duties.

Singapore’s football body

The FAS lodged a police report on July 22, 2019, and cooperated with the investigation. The FAS also conducted an internal audit and found that Sundramoorthy had misappropriated funds from various FAS accounts, including the FIFA Forward Programme, the ASEAN Football Federation, and the FAS Council.

The FAS issued a statement on July 23, 2019, expressing its shock and disappointment over Sundramoorthy’s actions. The FAS said that it had zero tolerance for any form of fraud or corruption, and that it would take all necessary steps to recover the misappropriated funds and prevent any recurrence.

What are the implications and reactions

Sundramoorthy’s case is one of the largest and most serious cases of cheating involving a sports association in Singapore. It has raised questions about the governance and accountability of the FAS, which is the governing body of football in Singapore and receives public funding from the government and the National Sports Council.

The case has also tarnished the reputation and credibility of the FAS, which has been striving to improve the standards and performance of football in Singapore. The FAS has faced criticism and challenges in recent years, such as the lack of success of the national team, the low attendance and quality of the domestic league, and the leadership tussle in the 2017 FAS election.

The case has also shocked and saddened the football community and fans in Singapore, who have expressed their anger and disbelief over Sundramoorthy’s betrayal. Many have called for harsh punishment and justice for Sundramoorthy, and for the FAS to be more transparent and accountable in its financial management and operations.

Sundramoorthy is expected to be sentenced on February 14, 2024. He has made partial restitution of S$340,000 to the FAS. He is also facing another charge of cheating involving S$20,000, which he allegedly obtained from a former FAS council member in 2016.

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