AN accountant who could not stay away from the Macau gaming tables robbed his firm of $1.7 million to feed his insatiable addiction, the District Court heard yesterday. Tse Kin-wah, 33, admitted forging $1.7 million worth of cheques from the Happy Valley trading company where he worked. After squandering the money, he then tried to steal another $1.3 million so he could return to Macau to gamble, the court heard. 'This was brought about by gambling addiction,' said Judge Bailey. He said Tse committed a 'flagrant breach of trust' when he forged cheques from Peter Yue Associates Limited and Silver Crown properties. Judge Bailey sentenced Tse to two years and nine months in prison. But he said if it had not been for the accountant's previous spotless record, he would have faced double the time behind bars. Tse had joined the firm on May 24 last year, where only Mr Yue and his wife had signing rights for company cheques, the court heard. Tse began siphoning off funds to his personal account between July and November last year, and forged $1.7 million of company cheques by having a chop made of his boss' signature. The losses were only discovered in November, after Tse asked his employer for leave and Mr Yue noticed company cheque books were missing. When Tse's attempt to transfer another $1.3 million to his own account failed, he fled to Macau, the court heard. 'He had a deep rooted addiction to gambling in Macau,' said Thomas Evans, defending Tse. 'He came up with the idea of embezzling and started to systematically steal from his company,' he said. Two weeks after Tse left Hong Kong, he called his mother who warned him the police were searching for him. He decided to return and 'face the music', said Mr Thomas. When Tse arrived at the Macau ferry terminal in Hong Kong on November 29, he told immigration officers he was being hunted by the police and turned himself in.