Ex-AIA agent gets 8 years' jail for cheating businessman to buy fake US$5m policy

Former AIA insurance agent Sally Low, who cheated a businessman into buying a fake US$5.06 million (S$8,894,777) policy in 2002, was sentenced to eight years in jail.
Former AIA insurance agent Sally Low, who cheated a businessman into buying a fake US$5.06 million (S$8,894,777) policy in 2002, was sentenced to eight years in jail.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Former AIA insurance agent Sally Low, who cheated a businessman into buying a fake US$5.06 million policy in 2002, was sentenced to eight years in jail on Thursday (May 19).

The sentence took immediate effect.

On May 5, she pleaded guilty to three charges of cheating, one charge of fraudulent use of forged documents and one of moving crime proceeds to a bank account in Hong Kong. The other 16 charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.

It was her second time she has pleaded guilty to selling a fake AIA Thank You insurance policy as she retracted her first guilty plea in June 2014.

 
 

The saga began in late 2002, when Mr Ong Han Ling, now 78, was sold a fake policy by Low, then an AIA agent.

After he paid the US$5.06 million premium, Low, without Mr Ong's knowledge or consent, used the funds to buy four AIA policies for him, his wife and their daughter.

Midway through the supposed tenure of the fake policy, Low used fabricated computer errors to deceive Mr Ong and his wife into giving the insurance proceeds from three of the unauthorised policies to her.

She then used the funds to purchase properties in Singapore and sent some overseas.

Her scheme came to light in 2008 after Mr Ong learnt from AIA that the Thank You policy was bogus.

In passing sentence, District Judge Shawn Ho said that trust is at the heart of the financial adviser-client relationship and that trust was "ruptured" in this case when Low convinced Mr Ong to buy a bogus policy.

Low has previously claimed she was a victim of a ploy with Mr Ong to cheat AIA.

Meanwhile, the Ongs are suing AIA and the agency where Low had worked at, Motion Insurance Agency, for negligence and lack of care.