A former salesman from Maserati distributor Hong Seh Motors was sentenced to 33 months' jail yesterday for misappropriating S$350,000.
Allan Tan Buan Yuen, 54, pleaded guilty to criminal breach of trust involving the money received from Mr Fan Zhong Da and several others who were acting on behalf of Mr Fan to buy a Maserati car in 2011.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Eunice Lim told the court that Mr Fan, 46, a Chinese national, who was earlier introduced to Tan by a friend, visited the company's showroom some time in July 2011 and said he was keen on buying a Maserati car.
Tan told him the price was S$650,000 and that the car would arrive in six months.
Mr Fan and Tan later signed an agreement bearing the company's letterhead for the purchase.
Tan asked Mr Fan to deposit S$150,000 into his personal bank account as an initial deposit, which he did.
The following month, Tan told Mr Fan a further deposit of S$100,000 was needed. As Mr Fan was not in Singapore, he asked a friend to pay on his behalf. The friend issued a cheque in Tan's name. Another cheque for S$100,000 was made out to Tan in November that year.
Ms Lim said Tan later told the company that Mr Fan no longer wished to buy the car and that no deposit had been received.
Some time in February 2012, Mr Fan called Tan to ask about the car. Tan confessed that he had used the money to gamble. He revealed he did not hand the money over to the company and had instead dishonestly misappropriated it.
A second charge of misappropriating S$38,823 in an another car-related case was taken into consideration.
Tan could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for the offence.
This article was first published on JULY 4, 2014.
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