Suspended lawyer charged with forging stamp duty certs

 A suspended lawyer was charged on Friday with forging three certificates of stamp duty in different property transactions.

Tan Sok Ling, 40, is accused of attempting to cheat three buyers of $33,780 when he altered the stamp duty amounts. In all, he overstated the amounts by $11,484.

A stamp duty is a government tax on commercial and legal documents which record and give effect to certain transactions. Tan allegedly committed these offences between September 2004 and March last year. If convicted, he faces a maximum jail term of seven years and a fine.

On Friday, in another court, Tan was also charged with two counts of providing false information to public servants. In July 2003, he allegedly gave a false Bukit Timah address to a police officer when he asked the officer to change his address on his identity card.

Tan then provided this false address to the principal of Methodist Girls’ Primary School when he was registering his daughter for Primary 1.

If convicted, he may be jailed up to six months and fined up to $1,000. His case will be mentioned again on July 17.

In March, Tan was suspended from the Bar for a year for failing to keep his accounts in order. He had breached the Solicitors Accounts Rules, which govern how lawyers handle their clients’ money, between 2002 and 2003.

An audit of the firm’s accounts found he had failed to pay money he received from clients into the account designated for this purpose. Tan, the sole proprietor of Tan SL & Partners, also transferred money from the firm’s client account to the office account without following the proper procedure.

Source: Weekend Today, 07 July 2007

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