Fashion designer jailed for siphoning $80k from his ex-lover

Ong Teck Hock was jailed for five months after he pleaded guilty to seven charges under the Computer Misuse Act.
Ong Teck Hock was jailed for five months after he pleaded guilty to seven charges under the Computer Misuse Act.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - For nearly two years, a 40-year-old fashion designer secretly stole over $80,000 from his ex-lover's bank account. The pair, who were together for almost 17 years, broke up after the 62-year-old teacher came home to find him in bed with someone else.

On Friday (March 11), Ong Teck Hock was jailed for five months after he pleaded guilty to seven charges under the Computer Misuse Act. He admitted to 15 similar charges, which were considered in sentencing.

A district court heard that Ong, a Malaysian, got into a relationship with the teacher in 1995. The latter took care of Ong's expenses and gave him a monthly allowance. He even paid for Ong's diploma in fashion design, which he got from LaSalle College of the Arts in 2008.

In 2010, Ong suggested that the teacher apply for online banking facilities. As the teacher was not proficient in using computers, Ong kept the internet banking token.

In November 2011, Ong's friend came to visit him at home, and the two fell asleep next to each other on the same bed. When the teacher came home and saw them, Ong was unable to explain himself fully; he moved out about two weeks later.

Ong later heard from mutual friends that the teacher was spreading rumours, saying he had only stayed with the teacher for the latter's money, the court heard. Ong also heard that the teacher had found another lover four months after they broke up.

Hurt and upset, Ong started transferring funds from the teacher's bank account into his own. Between September 2012 and June 2014, he transferred $82,853 in all.

On July 18, 2014, the teacher told police that someone had made unauthorised transfers from his bank account; a cheque he issued bounced due to a lack of funds.

Ong, a permanent resident, could have been jailed for three years and fined $10,000 on each charge.