SINGAPORE — A former bank relationship manager who duped two retirees of nearly $200,000 was on Thursday (6 June) jailed for his crimes.
Liaw Tick Kwan, 37, was jailed for three years and 10 months at the State Courts.
He pleaded guilty last month to two cheating charges and one count each of computer misuse and transferring criminal proceeds.
Conned first victim of nearly $155,000
Liaw worked for DBS Bank between November 2011 and May 2014, before joining Standard Chartered Bank from June 2014 to May 2015.
In August 2013, Liaw helped the first victim, Chin Tian Loke, 73, to open a DBS multi-currency account to invest in foreign currencies. Chin’s only source of income was the money in his bank accounts.
Chin entrusted his Internet banking security token and PIN to Liaw upon the latter’s request. When Liaw switched his employer, he asked Chin to transfer to Standard Chartered all his money from DBS.
Similarly, Liaw got to know the second victim, Chou Ching Ping, 67, while working at DBS. Her only source of income was the money in her bank accounts and rental income of about $,1600 monthly.
Between September 2013 and October 2014, Liaw unlawfully transferred out US$102,673.68 (equivalent to S$130,467.97) from Chin’s DBS account.
Liaw used the money to pay for a Cambodian property, which was bought under his wife’s name.
He also transferred part of the money to Chou’s DBS account, unknown to the recipient, to hide his tracks. The money was actually for Liaw’s personal use and he later withdrew the money from Chou’s bank account.
On 9 March 2015, Liaw also lied to Chin that a Standard Chartered cheque of $24,480.59 was meant to pay for fees. Chin signed on the cheque and Liaw then encashed the cheque, which resulted in a debit of the sum from Chin’s Standard Chartered account.
Duped second victim of over $42,000
On 29 October 2014, Liaw conned Chou into believing that she had received $67,389.50 in her DBS account that he claimed was related to another client’s investments.
“The accused lied to Chou that he had deposited that client’s investment capital into Chou’s bank account to combine that client’s funds with Chou’s investment funds in order to reap higher profits for both of them,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Norman Yew.
Liaw then lied that he wanted to pass the fictional client $67,389.50 in cash, which was to be withdrawn from Chou’s account.
She fell for his ruse and withdrew the cash for him. It comprised $42,207.19 from her own savings as well as US$19,673.68 (S$25,182.31) which had been transferred to her account from Chin’s account without the knowledge of both victims.
Liaw used the ill-gotten money for his personal expenses.
First victim made police report
In May 2015, Chin became suspicious when he did not receive any updates from Standard Chartered. He approached the bank directly without Liaw knowing and found out that he had been cheated into giving Liaw the $24,480.59 cheque.
Chin then went to DBS to see if he had been defrauded while Liaw was at DBS. Chin made a police report on 14 May 2015.
Later that month, knowing that his fraud had been discovered, Liaw told Chou that he was leaving Standard Chartered. When she asked whether he had misappropriated money from her DBS account, he admitted doing so.
For each of his cheating charges, Liaw could have been jailed for up to 10 years along with a fine.
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