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A former accountant for QlikTech Singapore, a subsidiary of analytics and business intelligence vendor Qlik, was sentenced to nine and a half years in jail for embezzling nearly $4 million from the company.
Ariel Biasong Salamanes, a 42-year-old native of the Philippines who worked for QlikTech Singapore from 2012 to 2017, pleaded guilty in a Singapore court Sept. 24 to siphoning $3.57 million from QlikTech Singapore. The sentencing was levied a day later.
Salamanes pleaded guilty to 15 counts, including falsification of accounts. An additional 267 counts were considered.
In a statement provided to SearchBusinessAnalytics, Qlik, a business intelligence software vendor founded in Sweden and now based in King of Prussia, Penn., said: “This incident occurred over two years ago. Qlik investigated, cooperated with the authorities and received insurance settlement at the time. We consider the matter closed and are satisfied with the result.”
Meanwhile, Donald Farmer, principal at TreeHive Strategy in Seattle and a former longtime Qlik employee, tweeted, "It's a desperately awful story. I feel terrible for everyone."
Salamanes reportedly handled the bookkeeping and accounts payable and receivable duties for QlikTech Singapore's sales and marketing department. With access to QlikTech Singapore's checkbooks and the authority to approve checks of up to $10,000, he signed off on 451 company checks from April 2013 through June 2017 and deposited them into his own bank account before funneling most of the money back to The Philippines.
Singapore's Commercial Affairs Department reportedly launched an investigation on June 13, 2017, after the agency received information that Salamanes may have taken money from QlikTech Singapore and deposited it into his own account.
Qlik reportedly began its own investigation at the same time and eventually filed a police report, and while Salamanes has not paid any of the money back, Qlik has claimed approximately $3.9 million from fraud insurance.
Of the $3.57 million, Salamanes' lawyer, Christine Sekhon, reportedly told the court Salamanes gave $1.88 million to friends and relatives, including money to pay the medication costs for a friend's children and for the education of others.
During sentencing, however, District Judge Ong Luan Tze said, as quoted by Singapore English language news site Today, "The point is that the money was not yours to give away to begin with."