SINGAPORE: Claiming he had RM14mil in a bank account in Malaysia, a man cheated his girlfriend and her brother into transferring various sums to him by promising them S$100,000 (RM332,854) if they followed his instructions.
Jason Chin, 47, was sentenced to 32 months’ jail on Oct 25 after he pleaded guilty to 14 charges of cheating. Twenty six other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
The court heard that Chin first met his girlfriend, Bong Siew Fung, in 2005 on social network website Friendster. He also became acquainted with her brother, Bong Kuet Fah.
On Tuesday, Chin’s defence lawyer, Charmaine Neo from Forte Law, said that her client lost his job in 2007, the same year his mother was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
In April 2009, Chin told Bong he would be flying to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to settle a fund transfer.
The Singaporean lied to his girlfriend that he had been fined RM50,000 by the Malaysian authorities for failing to account for the fund transfer and asked her to send him S$11,450 (RM38,115) to help pay for the fine.
To further cheat his victims, Chin in 2009 created a fictitious persona online called “Jolie” and introduced her as his cousin to Bong and her brother.
“Jolie” claimed that in July that year, Chin had infringed an “Anti-Money Laundering Act” for transferring funds from Australia and Malaysia and was fined A$10,000 (RM29,959). As a result, Bong transferred S$11,300 (RM37,616) to him. It was not revealed in court why she made the transfer.
“Jolie” also told Bong that Chin would have to pay a S$50,000 (RM166,425) fine to the Monetary Authority of Singapore or his funds would be frozen, which led her to transfer another S$12,100 (RM40,274) to him.
In September 2019, Chin claimed that “Jolie” had been arrested by the Malaysian police for stealing RM50,000 from a company and that the company would let the matter rest if they received the full amount back. Bong then transferred S$7,800 (RM25,962) to him.
Chin also deceived Bong’s brother in December 2010 by claiming that a deputy public prosecutor had increased a security deposit Chin had to pay from S$20,000 (RM66,570) to S$30,000 (RM99,855). He gave Chin S$5,850 (RM19,471) after hearing this. Court documents did not say what the alleged security deposit was for.
In total, Chin cheated Bong and her brother of S$181,500 (RM604,130). While some of these funds went towards supporting himself and his mother, Chin put S$45,000 (RM149,766) in an investment scam in China.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Selene Yap asked for a jail term of between 30 and 38 months, saying that Chin had abused the trust Bong and her brother had in him.
She added: “There was no excuse to cheat the victims... just because you are in a bad financial state doesn’t give you the right to put them in the same state as you.”
For each count of cheating, an offender can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined. – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network