7 years' corrective training for serial cheat who got away with $125k

An unemployed man who cheated 14 victims of nearly $125,000 over almost two years was sentenced to seven years' corrective training on Monday.

Tan Chip Huat, 40, pleaded guilty last month to 19 charges involving $76,332. Forty other charges were taken into consideration during his sentencing.

A district court heard that he would browse through the Internet to identity his potential victims. After he identified a potential victim, he would contact the victim at their contact numbers or e-mails, using a pseudonym during most of his interactions.

He preyed on women looking for a job by posting advertisements on the Internet that he was looking to hire a personal assistant. When they met, he give the impression that he was well-to-do and working in the financial sector at an office in Raffles Place.

He would arrange to meet them at a fancy restaurant or cafe for the interview. On a few occasions, he would come in a chauffeur-driven car or limousine to fetch the victims. Subsequently, he would ask the victims to give him a loan as he was in urgent need of money to settle some office work matters, with a promise to repay them within a few days.

He also targeted women looking for partners or to make new friends. In some cases, he also led them to believe that he was interested in a relationship with them. He would later ask them for a loan.

The court heard that he also duped individuals looking for loans by making them believe that they needed to transfer certain sums of money to the bank accounts he controlled as a fee or a deposit to secure a loan of several thousand dollars.

Tan, who made no restitution, has previous convictions for theft in 1999 and cheating in 2005 when he was jailed eight years.

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