Ex-wealth planner faces two more cheating charges

The entrance of the BSI Bank main office at Suntec City Tower One 31st floor.
The entrance of the BSI Bank main office at Suntec City Tower One 31st floor. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Former BSI Bank wealth planner Yeo Jiawei, 33, was slapped with two more charges of cheating yesterday, bringing the total number of charges he faces to nine.

Yeo, who has been in remand for 38 days, is accused of deceiving BSI by dishonestly concealing that he would receive through Bridgerock Investment - a firm he controlled - a portion of the fees paid to Pacific Harbor Holdings.

He got BSI to enter an agreement in August 2013 with Pacific Harbor Holdings, investment manager of Pacific Harbor Global Growth.

He also allegedly concealed from BSI that he would receive, through Bridgerock Investment, a portion of the management fees paid to Devonshire Capital Management.

Yeo had induced BSI to enter an agreement with Devonshire in February that year.

REAL RISK

There is a real risk of further tampering with witnesses if the accused is released on bail. There is a strong public interest against the granting of bail.

SECOND SOLICITOR-GENERAL KWEK MEAN LUCK, on Yeo

His lawyer, Senior Counsel Harry Elias, and the prosecution argued for and against the granting of bail yesterday.

Mr Elias said only two of the nine charges were non-bailable, and argued that there was no risk of Yeo absconding as his roots were here.

Yeo, he said, is prepared to give a written undertaking not to contact any possible victims or anyone.

He accused the prosecution of wanting to keep Yeo in "perpetual remand", and said his client needed to be bailed out so he could take meaningful instructions from him.

He suggested bail in the region of $200,000 to $400,000.

Opposing bail, Second Solicitor- General Kwek Mean Luck said that, while Yeo was out on police bail in March, he breached his bail conditions by contacting witnesses to "collaborate" stories to provide a "consistent response" to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) if questioned. Yeo also met Kelvin Ang Wee Keng, 34, who has since been charged with corruption.

Mr Kwek said Yeo also contacted another individual and told him to destroy evidence and make himself unavailable for questioning by the CAD.

Investigations showed that Yeo appeared to have been in contact with "key figures" who are central to the web of transactions being investigated up to the point of his arrest, he said.

Mr Kwek added that Yeo had no compunction about perverting the course of justice, as he had tried to contact no fewer than five witnesses. "There is a real risk of further tampering with witnesses if the accused is released on bail. There is a strong public interest against the granting of bail," he said.

Investigations are ongoing, the court heard. District Judge Christopher Goh will give his decision on bail tomorrow afternoon.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2016, with the headline 'Ex-wealth planner faces two more cheating charges'. Print Edition | Subscribe