Property agent gets 12 months’ jail for forgery, stealing rent money

A property agent has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for stealing rental money from his Indonesian client and forging his signature to collect the misappropriated funds.

Fong Wai Loon, 37, was found guilty by the State Courts on Tuesday (Dec 16) of forgery for the purpose of cheating and criminal breach of trust, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years and seven years, respectively.

In 2009, Fong had offered to help Indonesian businessman Rocky Bastiaan rent out his apartment unit on Scotts Road. The unit was rented by an international law firm, Ince & Co, for S$6,300 a month. The firm was to pay Mr Bastiaan the monthly amount by issuing a cheque – which Fong would collect on his client’s behalf and then deposit into Mr Bastiaan’s Singapore Citibank account.

After some time, Fong drafted a letter directing the law firm to set up a General Interbank Recurring Order (GIRO) payment arrangement for the monthly rental fee to be directed into a United Overseas Bank (UOB) account under Fong’s name. The letter was signed with the name “Rocky Bastiaan” which Fong had forged.

In total, S$37,800 was transferred into Fong’s UOB account over a period of six months in 2009. After the forgery was discovered, the law firm stopped delivering money into the account.

Senior District Judge Liew Thiam Leng told the court that the charges against Fong were serious and the amount stolen was substantial. However, seeing that Fong had made restitution, he reduced Fong’s sentence for both charges to a total of 12 months.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 17 Dec 2014

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