Ex-manager conned old colleagues of $900k to feed gambling habit; jailed seven years

SINGAPORE - A former manufacturing firm manager was jailed for seven years on Wednesday after he conned his ex-colleagues and a cousin out of almost $900,000 to feed his gambling habit.

Soh Meng Yeow left a "trail of destruction", District Judge Eugene Teo said.

After quitting his job with Oshkosh-JLG Singapore Technology Equipment in August 2011, the 49-year-old promised his victims quick returns if they invested in equipment for a company dealing with the medical and construction sectors.

However it did not exist, and when their repayments were due Soh issued them dud cheques. He promised to pay them following the sale of his flat in July 2012, but became uncontactable soon after.

Soh conned them of $895,680 in total. He gambled away much of it at the two casinos here in an attempt to recoup personal losses. Some was given to victims as "returns" to convince them to invest even more.

Soh had pleaded guilty to 21 counts of cheating, with another 43 taken into consideration. They included an unrelated count of theft in dwelling from Mustafa Centre last September. Of the amount cheated, $277,650 has been returned to victims.

The maximum penalty for cheating to induce the delivery of property is a jail term of ten years and a fine.