SINGAPORE — The lawyer who went missing last year, shortly after some $33 million held in escrow by his law firm was discovered to have disappeared, was handed 15 fresh charges – 14 of which are for cheating – on Tuesday (30 June).
Jeffrey Ong Su Aun, who was later apprehended in Malaysia on 29 May last year, now faces a total of 53 charges.
The 42-year-old, who was the managing partner of law firm JLC Advisors, faces one count of criminal breach of trust for allegedly misappropriating $250,000 belonging to an individual’s bank account while he was a solicitor at JLC Advisors. His offence is said to have taken place on 17 December 2018 – some five months before he fled to Malaysia.
His other 14 charges involve cheating Allied Technologies on as many occasions between 3 November 2017 and 22 January last year. Each of his cheating charge states that Ong deceived Allied Technologies into believing that its escrow account with JLC Advisors contained a certain sum of money by furnishing a notice to reflect the balance amount. In doing so, Ong is accused of intentionally causing Allied Technologies to omit investigating the missing monies in the account.
The balance sums in the account ranged from some $15 million to around $45 million, according to charge sheets.
The funds had been held in escrow by JLC under an agreement made in 2017.
Across earlier court hearings, Ong was handed 38 charges for cheating, criminal breach of trust as an attorney and forgery offences.
Ong made the papers when he disappeared after some $33.2 million in funds held in escrow for Allied Technologies was discovered to be missing.
Previous court documents revealed that Ong allegedly fled to Malaysia after being pressed to account for the unauthorised withdrawals of client monies by the partners in his law firm on 13 May.
Three days later, he became uncontactable. A police report was lodged in Singapore about his alleged criminal breach of trust on 21 May last year.
A warrant of arrest was issued on 25 May, leading to Ong’s arrest by Malaysian police on 29 May last year in his hotel room. He was later repatriated to Singapore and charged on 1 June with one count of cheating.
Ong will return to court on 11 August.
The maximum penalty for criminal breach of trust as an attorney is life imprisonment, or a jail term of up to 20 years, and a fine. For cheating, Ong can be jailed up to three years, and/or fined, if convicted.
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