Ex-staff of luxury car distributor jailed 33 months for misappropriating $350,000

A former salesman of a Maserati distributor was sentenced to 33 months on Thursday for dishonestly misappropriating $350,000. -- ST GRAPHIC
A former salesman of a Maserati distributor was sentenced to 33 months on Thursday for dishonestly misappropriating $350,000. -- ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - A former salesman of a Maserati distributor was sentenced to 33 months on Thursday for dishonestly misappropriating $350,000.

Allan Tan Buan Yuen, 54, was working at Hong Seh Motors when he committed criminal breach of trust of the amount from Mr Fan Zhong Da and persons acting on the latter's behalf for the purchase of a Maserati car in 2011.

A district court heard that Mr Fan, 46, a Chinese national, visited the company's showroom in late July 2011, and told Tan he was interested to buy a Maserati car.

Tan said the car costing $650,000 would arrive in six months.

Later, he provided Mr Fan an agreement bearing the company's letterhead for the purchase of the vehicle. Both signed on the document.

On or before July 22 that year, Tan asked Mr Fan to put $150,000 into his personal bank account as an initial deposit. This was done.

The following month, he asked for a further deposit of $100,000. As Mr Fan was not in Singapore, he asked a friend to pay on his behalf. A cheque for $100,000 was made out in Tan's name.

Sometime in November 2011, Tan asked Mr Fan for another $100,000. Mr Fan asked his friend again to pay on his behalf.

Tan later told the company that Mr Fan no longer wished to buy the car and that no deposit had been received. As a result, the car was never ordered by the company.

In February 2012, Mr Fan called Tan to ask about the car. Tan then confessed that he had used the money to gamble. Tan has not returned the money.

A second charge of misappropriating $38,823 in a car-related case not linked to Hong Seh was considered during his sentencing.

Tan, who asked for his sentence to be deferred to July 18, could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for the offence.