Man fined $2,000 for faking death certificate

Sylvester Han Cheow Yuen was fined $2,000 after he admitted to making a false death certificate with intent to commit fraud on March 10, 2013.
Sylvester Han Cheow Yuen was fined $2,000 after he admitted to making a false death certificate with intent to commit fraud on March 10, 2013.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A man, who was given his salary in advance, faked a death certificate when his employer wanted proof of his wife's death - for which the advance was given.

Sylvester Han Cheow Yuen, 54, was fined $2,000 on Thursday (July 7) after he admitted to making a false death certificate with intent to commit fraud on March 10, 2013.

A second charge of converting a laptop worth $1,218 to his own use was taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that Han, then employed by DTZ Facilities & Engineering, was in financial difficulty in November 2014 when he lied to his employer that his wife was critically ill, and requested that his salary be given to him in advance.

About three months later, he informed his employer that he was in arrears for his utility bills due to his wife's medical and funeral expenses. He again requested that his salary be advanced to him.

On Feb 26 last year, he asked for two days' urgent leave to attend to the relocation of the remains of his wife as her niche had been damaged in a fire. These requests were granted by his employer.

When his employer asked for proof of his wife's death, Han searched the Internet for a sample death certificate.

He obtained a document titled "Certificate of Extract from Register of Deaths'' online. This was a form provided for under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act and purported to be issued by the Registrar of Deaths.

He printed it out and filled in the various entries by hand. He stated, among other things, that the cause of death was "carcinoma of the bladder and repeated transient ischemic attack.''

He submitted the handwritten form to his employer to substantiate his false claim that his wife had died.

He could have been jailed for up to four years and fined for forgery.