Korean national who cheated man of $80,000 jailed

Safhras Khan
Singapore’s State Courts (Yahoo file photo)

He promised a Singaporean acquaintance that they would be joint partners to buy a Korean restaurant, with each investing $80,000.

However, Koh Chun Cho, a 47-year-old Korean, did not use the cash from the acquaintance for the business venture, and instead used it for his personal investments.

Koh pleaded guilty to one charge of criminal breach of trust on Thursday (13 April) and was sentenced to nine months’ jail.

Reading the facts of the case before District Judge John Ng, Deputy Public Prosecutor  (DPP) Bryan Leow said that Koh was a manager of the Blue Garden Korean BBQ and Seafood Restaurant.

Koh got to know Tang Tin Biau at the restaurant, which is located at the Link Hotel, in April 2015. Tang, 48, was working as a financial controller at the hotel.

The restaurant manager proposed to Tang to form a partnership to buy over Blue Garden and they agreed to invest $80,000 each, with Koh handling the negotiations with the owner of the restaurant in October 2015. Tang agreed and handed Koh $30,000 before transferring the rest of the amount via two bank transfers in the same month.

Although Koh did not proceed with the deal, he informed Tang that the ownership of the restaurant would be transferred over by 1 November 2015.

It was not stated in court how Tang found out that he was cheated by Koh. Tang made a police report on 29 November 2015, which led to Koh’s arrest in March last year.

In mitigation, Koh’s lawyer, Tan Lye Huat, said that his client made a poor judgement call and asked for a jail term of between eight and nine months. He added that Koh is staying alone in Singapore, and that his wife and daughter are currently living in Australia.

DPP Leow pointed out that the amount involved was significant and that Koh had not repaid the money to the victim.