Jade Technologies' ex-boss gets longer jail term after failed appeal

Soh was convicted last year on charges that included market rigging and insider trading.
Soh was convicted last year on charges that included market rigging and insider trading.

The record jail term imposed on former Jade Technologies president Anthony Soh Guan Cheow was extended by the High Court to 11 years yesterday following a failed appeal.

Soh was initially sentenced to eight years and nine months in jail and fined $50,000 in August last year on convictions for charges that included market rigging and insider trading.

He was given two years and six months in jail for market rigging, and jail terms ranging from six months to two years and six months for seven counts of insider trading. These sentences were then the highest imposed for such offences in Singapore.

Soh was also accused of giving false reports to the Singapore Exchange and the Securities Industry Council.

The charges centred on his bid in 2008 to acquire Jade Technologies - now Cedar Strategic Holdings - via Asia Pacific Links, where he was the director and sole shareholder.

The buyout offer was made to raise Jade Technologies' slumping share price.

Soh, who did not have the money to carry out the takeover, later withdrew the offer, but over $10 million worth of Jade Technologies shares had been sold at inflated prices.

He then used the proceeds to fulfil his other financial obligations.

Both Soh and the prosecution appealed against the initial sentences.

In yesterday's High Court ruling, Judicial Commissioner See Kee Oon concluded that there was "no merit" in Soh's appeal, and the original sentences "do not fully and adequately reflect the overall criminality and gravity of Soh's misconduct".

He ruled that the jail term of eight years and nine months be extended to 11 years. The $50,000 fine had been paid.

Meanwhile, Cedar Strategic has been restructured and is slowly getting back on its feet. The Catalist- listed firm, now headed by chief executive Tan Thiam Hee, reported a profit of 347,000 yuan (S$71,600) for the three months ended June 30, rebounding from a 592,000 yuan loss from a year ago.

The reversal reflected its success with the Daya Bay property project in Guangdong, in which it bought a majority stake last November.

Earlier this week, Cedar said it had reached a purchase agreement that will give it 49 per cent control of the mixed-use property project Golden City in Yangon, Myanmar.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2016, with the headline 'Jade Technologies' ex-boss gets longer jail term after failed appeal'. Print Edition | Subscribe