SINGAPORE - A former mobile personal banking executive, who deceived the bank into delivering referral commissions totalling $84,500 to a housing agent for property loans, was jailed for 14 months on Thursday (May 12).
Mok Chwan Yee, 35, a Malaysian, pleaded guilty to 13 of 40 charges of cheating United Overseas Bank into believing that customers were referred by Mr Tan Jeok Kiow to apply for housing loans when this was untrue, and induced the bank to deliver sums of $552 to $8,434 to Mr Tan.
The offences occurred between August 2006 and May 2007.
Investigations showed that there was an arrangement between Mok and Mr Tan to indicate the latter as the referring agent in the application forms of customers who did not have any referring agent on 40 occasions.
UOB pays referral commissions to real estate agents who refer customers to apply successfully for property loans with the bank, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhammad Imaduddien.
If the loan was referred by a real estate agent, the applicant would furnish the particulars of the agent in the form. Otherwise, the mobile banker would have to cross out this section and UOB will not pay any referral commission.
After Mr Tan had received the payments in cashier's orders, he would deposit them in his bank account, withdraw the money in cash and hand it to Mok.
In all, Mok received referral commissions of $84,505.
He left Singapore for Malaysia on July 20, 2007 before Commercial Affairs Department began its investigations. This was because his service had been terminated by UOB some time in May 2007.
A warrant of arrest was subsequently issued.
Mok was arrested in Kuala Lumpur Sept 7 last year, and brought back to Singapore three days later.
His lawyer Winston Quek said in mitigation that during Mok's employment with UOB, he had consistently shown strong work ethics.
He said there was no loss to UOB and Mr Tan had made full restitution to the bank.
He said Mok, who has two young children, had since learnt his lesson, was remorseful and willing to accept punishment for his wrongdoing.
District Judge Wong Li Tein, who took 27 other charges into consideration, backdated Mok's sentence to Sept 10 last year.
Mok could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined on each charge.