SINGAPORE — Over a six-month period, a deliveryman cheated his parents and sister of $150,454 at the behest of his married lover, a court heard.
With his tall tales of bank investments offering returns on principal of up to 33 per cent, Lai Sze Yin persuaded his family members to entrust him with large sums cash.
Lai, 28, even lied about having to pay for a car loan and university fees.
At the State Courts on Monday (7 June), Lai was jailed for one year and three months after he pleaded guilty to four cheating charges involving $95,778.
Five other similar charges involving the remaining amount were considered in sentencing.
About the case
In July 2016, Lai got to know Jocelyn Kwek Sok Koon, 47, after delivering a parcel to her home. He befriended the mother-of-two and communicated with her over text messages. She engaged his delivery services and the duo later entered into a romantic relationship.
"The accused was uncomfortable with revealing the co-accused’s true identity to his parents. The co-accused therefore invented a persona by the name of 'Rachel Lam Xin Yi'," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Phoebe Tan.
Lai lied to his parents that his girlfriend was the same age as him and studying at a local university.
In March 2017, Lai and Kwek plotted to cheat his 55-year-old father by lying that Lai needed a loan of $5,778 to pay for his school fees at a local university, the court heard.
Believing his ruse, Lai's father transferred him the sum. Lai passed Kwek some of the cash.
Two months later, Kwek told Lai that she needed $8,000 for her business. This time, the duo plotted to cheat his 56-year-old mother by lying that he needed a loan to buy a car.
Believing his ruse, Lai's mother lent him $9,000. Lai passed the entire sum to Kwek.
Then in October that year, Kwek allegedly instigated Lai to lie to his father about an investment opportunity with a bank which would allow him to earn an interest of 21 per cent on the principal amount. His father fell for the ploy and transferred him $80,000.
Of the sum, Lai transferred $77,000 to the bank account of Kwek's daughter. Kwek told Lai to use the remaining money to repay a loan which he had earlier obtained for her.
The couple also cheated Lai's 25-year-old sister in a similar manner. In March 2017, Kwek allegedly instigated Lai to lie to his sister that she could earn an interest rate of 30 per cent on whatever principal amount she deposited with them. Lai's sister handed him $1,000.
In September and October 2017, Lai also cheated his mother using a similar ruse, by lying about purported bank investments which could yield interest rates of 28 per cent and 33 per cent respectively. His mother transferred him $30,000 over the two occasions.
Lai will begin serving his jail term next week while Kwek's case is pending before the courts.
For each of his cheating charges, Lai could have been jailed for up to 10 years and also fined.
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