SINGAPORE — A lawyer who allegedly went missing along with $33.2 million in an escrow account held by his law firm on behalf of a client has been charged in court and is being held in remand.
Jeffrey Ong Su Aun, the 41-year-old managing partner of JLC Advisors, was charged on 1 June (Saturday) with deceiving CCJ Investments into believing that Suite Development had entered into a loan agreement with it.
He is accused of cheating CCJ Investments into disbursing him a sum of $6 million. Of the sum, $3.3 million was allegedly used to refinance Suite Development’s mortgage loan, and $2.7 million was allegedly deposited into the account of a JLC client.
The Singapore Police Force said in a statement that the police sought the help of the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) to locate and arrest Ong following a report lodged on 21 May on the case. Ong, who had left Singapore before investigations began, was arrested and brought back to Singapore on 30 May with the help of the RMP.
Ong will return to court on 13 June.
Media reports late last month stated that Ong had disappeared, along with the funds that belonged to JLC’s client Allied Technologies.
The funds had been held in escrow by JLC under an escrow agreement made in 2017.
The incident prompted The Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) to take control over all monies held by JLC on behalf its clients and third parties on 24 May.
In a joint media statement with the Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) on 24 May, LawSoc said it will inquire into all the facts and circumstances surrounding the operation of JLC’s client accounts, and the role played by Ong.
The probe is expected to decide whether Ong will be given any disciplinary action.
SGX RegCo has directed Allied Technologies to expand the scope of its upcoming Special Audit to include developments surrounding the $33 million held with JLC, and the progress of its attempt to procure the funds back. The special auditor will report solely to SGX RegCo.