18 months' probation for third man in Jay Chou ticket scam

Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou performing during his The Invincible Jay Chou Concert Tour, at the National Stadium, on Sept 3, 2016.
Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou performing during his The Invincible Jay Chou Concert Tour, at the National Stadium, on Sept 3, 2016.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Wanting to make a quick buck, he decided to take part in a scam involving fake Jay Chou concert tickets.

But Koh Boon Hwee, 22, who is waiting to enrol in an overseas university, had cold feet before meeting his victim and did not turn up. Instead, he sent one of his co-conspirators to complete the transaction.

Koh, who is the third man to be dealt with in court over the ticket ruse, was yesterday sentenced to 18 months of probation, after pleading guilty to a cheating charge involving $700. He must also perform 120 hours of community service.

His co-conspirators, students Walden Lee Guo Quan and Ang Teck Wee, both 23, were dealt with in court last Thursday. They were each sentenced to 21 months' probation and 180 hours of community service.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Vadivalagan Shanmuga said that Lee had original tickets for the concert, which was held on Sept 3 last year.

When he realised that response to the event was overwhelming, he hatched a plan to cheat others and roped in Ang.

Lee sent him images of the original tickets and Ang used his computer to create copies. The two men then put the bogus tickets up for sale on online marketplace Carousell, each under his own account.

Between March and May last year, Lee and Ang worked together to cheat 11 people.

On May 10, Koh overheard the pair talking about the scam and wanted to be part of it.

He created an account on Carousell and posted an advertisement, saying he had Jay Chou concert tickets for sale. His victim, Ms Png Zhongyou, 24, contacted him later that month to buy two.

But Koh decided not to meet her and asked Ang to complete the transaction. Ang met Ms Png at Commonwealth MRT station and gave her the fake tickets in exchange for $700. She realised she had been duped only when she turned up at the Sports Hub on the day of the concert and was not allowed to enter the venue.

In mitigation, Koh's lawyer, Mr Peter Ong Lip Cheng, told the court that his client had a clean record.

He added: "At no point in time did Boon Hwee have possession of any of the tickets."

Ms Png was among the 11 people whom Lee and Ang cheated to the tune of $7,670. Each victim was duped of between $350 and $800.

On Feb 1, Lee, who studies at the Singapore Institute of Management, pleaded guilty to three charges involving $2,350.

Ang, who is from Nanyang Technological University, admitted to two charges involving $1,440.

Four of Lee's cheating charges and two of Ang's were taken into consideration during sentencing.

For cheating, Koh could have been jailed for up to three years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2017, with the headline '18 months' probation for third man in Jay Chou ticket scam'. Print Edition | Subscribe