Former remisier jailed 18 weeks over illegal trades

Using two trading accounts belonging to his friends, he incurred losses of about $95,000

A former remisier, who made unauthorised trades on two clients' securities accounts which resulted in losses of about $95,000, was jailed for 18 weeks yesterday.

Allan Chua Choen Beng, 52, was employed by DBS Vickers (DBSV) when he deceived his employer into believing that the trades he made on behalf of Mr Goh Gek Chye from around May 24 to June 17, 2004 were authorised transactions.

As a result of his acts, Mr Goh and DBSV suffered losses amounting to $76,503. A second similar charge, involving another person and losses of $18,178, was taken into consideration in sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lai said the second victim made a police report on Nov 3, 2004 that Chua had conducted unauthorised trades with her DBSV securities trading account.

When confronted over the unauthorised trades, Chua lied that he had used his own account to trade for his (Chua's) "boss'', in some syndicate trading.

By then, Chua, who has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Oregon, had abruptly resigned and left Singapore for the United States, where he applied for and obtained citizenship. Chua was not contactable until his arrest at Woodlands Checkpoint on March 25 this year.

DPP Lai said Chua, in fact, had no intention to enter Singapore that day. He was taking his father to renew the latter's autocard near the entrance of the Malaysian Customs when he missed a U-turn and inadvertently drove to the Singapore side of the Causeway. As he was trying to remove a barricade so he could make a U-turn to Malaysia, he was stopped by an immigration officer and, later, arrested.

The court heard that Mr Goh, who had known Chua for about 20 years, agreed to open a DBSV account in August 2002 to allow Chua to earn some commission.

Chua was Mr Goh's remisier in respect of the DBSV trading account. Mr Goh had never authorised or consented to have Chua use his trading account to make personal trades for his own benefit. Chua made 12 unauthorised trades without his consent or knowledge on his trading account.

When confronted over the unauthorised trades, Chua lied that he had used his own account to trade for his (Chua's) "boss'', in some syndicate trading. Chua further lied that his "boss'' would settle the losses when there was no such person.

Chua left Singapore on Oct 29, 2004, without settling the losses and later became uncontactable. His lawyer David Nayar said both victims were his client's friends and were aware of what Chua was doing.

Chua, who has recently paid the victims back in full, could have been fined up to $250,000 and jailed for up to seven years under the Securities and Futures Act.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2015, with the headline 'Former remisier jailed 18 weeks over illegal trades'. Print Edition | Subscribe