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Pinay maid jailed 16 months for stealing $395k jewelry from employer

27 August 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao  

The value of the jewelry stolen was so big that the case was heard in District Court

A 42-year-old Filipina domestic helper was sent to prison for 16 months today, Aug 27, after she admitted stealing $395,000 worth of jewelry from her employer over a nearly eight-month period last year.

Charity Faith Ramos, married and a mother of three, stood meekly as District Court Judge Clement Lee read out the sentence shortly after she pleaded guilty to theft.
Judge Lee said before sentencing that he would also give weight to the sentimental value of the stolen items in addition to the breach of trust.

“I think the employers are wealthy, they can absorb the monetary loss, but they cannot afford to lose the sentimental value of the stolen jewelry,” he said.
Ramos admitted stealing more than 20 pieces of assorted jewelry pieces that the employer, Yu Por-yen, kept in a locked drawer in the master bedroom of her flat in Homantin, Kowloon. Ramos also took Rmb2,000 belonging to Yu.

The judge asked Yu, who was in the gallery, which items had sentimental value. She replied seven necklaces with pendants were given by her grandmother while the gold ring was a gift from her husband’s grandmother. Six gold bracelets were wedding gifts.

The prosecution said the employer discovered the theft on Dec 19 last year when she checked on her jewelry and realized several pieces were missing. She immediately reported the theft to police.

Officers searched Ramos’ belongings and found 13 pawn coupons from nine pawnshops where she had hocked the items stolen over a period starting May 7 last year.

Only 17 pieces valued a total of $245,000 were retrieved from the pawnshops, but the money that Ramos raised from them was not recovered, the prosecution said.

The stolen jewelry that were not recovered included one diamond ring, two diamond necklaces, one diamond bracelet, six gold rings with gems, a pair of diamond earrings and 7 gold necklaces with pendants.

The defense lawyer said Ramos, who started working for her employer in 2017, admitted the offense during investigation.

She reportedly needed money for the medical treatment of her farmer husband who could not work due to asthma and her 76-year-old mother who was paralyzed.

“I ask the court to consider that the money obtained from the offense was used for the medical treatment of sick members of her family,” the lawyer said.  

The lawyer also said Ramos was remorseful and reiterated this in a letter to the court in which she asked for leniency so she could return to her family.

Judge Lee said Ramos’ financial woes did not justify the offense and could not even be a mitigation.

The judge deducted one month from the prescribed sentence for Ramos’ remorse and clear record, then gave a further one-third discount for her guilty plea.
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