Thursday, April 12, 2012

Man jailed 18 months for helping to defraud SLA

SINGAPORE: An assistant manager, who received about S$32,000 for helping to defraud the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) of nearly S$12.2 million, was jailed 18 months on Thursday.

43-year-old Tan Meng Teck, who used to work with IT services provider NEC Asia, is the fifth man to be sentenced in the biggest case of government sector fraud since 1995.

Tan pleaded guilty to three charges of conspiring with four other men, including former SLA deputy director Koh Seah Wee and manager Lim Chai Meng, to cheat SLA in 2008.

Tan was roped in by the duo to help dupe SLA into believing that the invoices they rendered for fictitious services and goods were genuine.

He prepared fake invoices on Lim's instructions, which resulted in SLA disbursing S$12.2 million through multiple contracts.

Tan, who is married with a 14-year-old daughter, received about S$32,000 or three per cent of the total amount cheated.

In mitigation, Tan's lawyer, Lee Teck Leng highlighted Tan's "limited role" in the conspiracy, as opposed to the roles of Koh and Lim as masterminds.

Mr Lee added that Tan, unlike the duo, was not an SLA employee and there was no "abuse of trust" on his part.

He also emphasised that Tan's benefits were "small", in comparison to Koh's and Lim's, which amounted to three-quarters of the proceeds.

The court heard that the duo indulged in luxury purchases with the money, including a S$1.6 million Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SV and a Ferrari F430.

Koh and Lim, who faced more than 300 charges each, were jailed 22 years and 15 years respectively in November last year.

Two other men, former swimming instructor Ho Yen Teck, and Anthony Xavier Foo Doon Tong from marketing services company Ribbons and Rolls, were also jailed 10 years and three years respectively for their involvement in the scam as contractors.

SLA has since managed to recover some S$10 million in cash and assets.

View the original article here

Source From Channel News Asia

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