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Singapore, Crime

Elena Chong
Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

Singapore, Crime

GM jailed for conspiring to cheat firm of $4m

The Straits Times | Elena Chong | Sunday, Oct 19, 2014

A general manager, who often gambled at a casino, came up with a ploy to get money from his company by scheming with third parties to submit fake invoices, to deceive it into paying for non-existent services.

Over around 1½ years, Teo Beng Wah abetted three others in a conspiracy to cheat Newtech Technology (South Asia) of $4 million.

The money was not returned.

Yesterday, the 50-year-old was sentenced to jail of four years and seven months, after pleading guilty to eight of 104 charges.

His alleged accomplices - Kwa Tian Hwa, 48, Ng Hai Hock, 51, and Chong Li Fong, 39 - have been charged.

Their cases are in pre-trial conference stages.

Newtech, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Newtech Technology Holdings, provides mechanical and electrical engineering services, specialising in the design and building of data centre infrastructure.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kevin Yong said that as the general manager, Teo could, alone, approve all purchases made by Newtech, and sign cheques for payments of up to $50,000.

The fraud came to light when the company found out during a review of its accounts in July 2011 that there were 101 invoices received from "vendors" between February 2010 and June 2011 for services that were not rendered.

These invoices were accompanied by 94 false purchase orders requested and approved by Teo.

Investigation by the Commercial Affairs Department showed that Teo was a frequent gambler at the Resorts World Sentosa casino, and often borrowed chips and cash from fellow gamblers.

He devised the scheme to repay his loans and satisfy his gambling addiction. Some of Teo's accomplices would help him by giving him the money they received from Newtech and keeping a portion for themselves.

Teo, whose services were terminated in August 2011, was made a bankrupt in July 2012 for failing to settle Newtech's civil claim against him.

He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each charge.


This article was first published on October 17, 2014, 2014.
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