He forged a bank transfer document in an attempt to deceive a woman he met through an online dating app into having sex with him.
When the woman did not receive the money in her bank account and refused to meet him, Liaw Jin Yi threatened to report her to the police as a scammer.
Under pressure, the woman then agreed to hold a video call with the man while she was partially undressed.
Liaw, a 38-year-old Singaporean lecturer at a private college, pleaded guilty to one count of forgery at the State Courts on Tuesday (26 February). Another similar count will be taken into consideration for his sentencing.
Looking for ‘physical intimacy’ on Tinder
The court heard that Liaw had set up a Tinder account for dating. On his profile, he claimed to be an American living in Singapore and went by the online moniker Zack. He also listed that he was “looking for company and also physical intimacy for S$12k”.
A Singaporean woman, whose age was not revealed in court documents, responded to his profile.
On 12 January last year, Liaw offered to pay the woman $10,000 if she agreed to expose her body to him during a video call and to meet him for sex.
The woman then gave Liaw her bank account number.
However, instead of transferring the money to her, Liaw forged a Bank of America (BoA) document purporting to have transferred US$10,000 (S$13,500) to the woman’s account.
He doctored the details of an image he found online to make it seems like the transfer was made by an account holder with the name “Y J L Zacky”. The forged document also stated that there was a balance of US$2,898,650 in the BoA account.
When the woman checked her account and did not see the money in it, she confronted Liaw – who insisted that he had made the transfer. The woman also contacted her bank and was told that such transfers could take up to two to four working days to complete.
She then declined to provide any sexual services to Liaw until she received the money, even offering to provide screenshots of her bank account to prove that no money had been transferred.
Liaw in turn accused the woman of being a “scammer” who had cheated him. He also threatened to make a police report.
Bullied into video call
He then bullied the woman into agreeing to a video call with him that same night to help him masturbate. During the call the woman removed her top and bra at Liaw’s request.
Liaw continued to harass the woman for two more days, while the woman failed to receive any money in her account.
After Liaw threatened the woman with police reports and a complaint to her company, she made a police report on 14 January.
She also made a Magistrate’s Complaint on 15 January. A Magistrate’s Complaint is filed by a person who wishes to seek redress for an offence that they believe has been committed against them.
Liaw will be sentenced on 11 March. For forgery, Liaw may be jailed up to four years or fined, or both.
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