SINGAPORE — A freelance IT consultant who scammed 62 people, including friends and acquaintances, of more than $500,000 was on Tuesday (15 October) jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Alvin Ker Jia Jun, 31, had earlier pleaded guilty at the State Courts to 40 cheating charges in August.
Another 94 counts of cheating and one charge of removing criminal proceeds out of the country were considered in sentencing.
Offered to double victims’ money in 3 months
Ker, who had a penchant for gambling, cheated a total of $503,988 from his victims between 2017 and last year.
He would put up posts on his Facebook account offering victims to participate in ‘investment schemes’ he concocted, and ask friends to share his posts.
The bogus schemes offered to double victims’ investments in as little as three months, while guaranteeing the initial capital.
Among other things, Ker claimed that he invested in an educational institution and casinos. But the conman spent the ill-gotten cash at local and overseas casinos.
Ker initially transferred part of his winnings back to some of his victims to cover his tracks.
But he later went on a losing streak and told the victims that he had reached his online banking transfer limit, for instance. He eventually lost all the money he scammed from his victims.
The perpetrator was arrested on 5 March last year when he returned from a gambling trip to Vietnam. Several victims had made police reports when Ker became uncontactable after they transferred him money.
He has made since made restitution of $100,246.
District Judge Edgar Foo backdated Ker’s jail term to his remand in March last year.
For each of his cheating charges, Ker could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.
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