SINGAPORE - A man allegedly conned a friend into giving him a total of $2.36 million over three years by claiming that he was the beneficiary of an inheritance amounting to hundreds of millions, a court heard.
Brendan Robert Don, 46, was hauled to court on Tuesday to face 450 charges of cheating Mr Alan Lye Cher Kang, in his 40s, of between $300 and $33,000 each time.
Don, who is unemployed, allegedly deceived Mr Lye into believing that the government had seized his "inheritance", and that he needed loans to pay various kinds of fees for the release of the money to him.
The alleged offences occurred between Aug 30, 2011 and Aug 2 this year.
In one of the charges, he is said to have induced Mr Lye to hand over $16,000, saying the amount was needed to pay lawyer fees to the Ministry of Home Affairs for the release of $250 million to $500 million to him.
Court documents show he gave a slew of reasons for the loans such as paying banks, insurance companies, overtime fees to various bank officers, tax deposits to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, audit fees, and miscellaneous fees to CISCO.
His lawyer Irving Choh sought an adjournment to make representations.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Grace Goh told the court that the prosecution would proceed on 20 charges if Don takes a certain course. She asked for the case to be adjourned for two weeks.
Asked by District Judge Eddy Tham, she said there was no restitution of the $2.36 million involved, and the money went to Don to "fund his lifestyle".
Don, who is stout and balding, showed no emotion when the charges were read to him in court.
Bail of $500,000 was offered, and pre-trial conference date is scheduled for Dec 18.
If convicted, he faces a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine on each charge.