Man jailed for forgery and lying about loss of passport

An accounts executive forged a cheque for $8,900 and made it payable to his wife, who then shared the money with him.
An accounts executive forged a cheque for $8,900 and made it payable to his wife, who then shared the money with him.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - An accounts executive forged a cheque for $8,900 and made it payable to his wife, who then shared the money with him.

Goh Jun Jie, 28, also lied that he had lost his passport, when it had been impounded by the police, and obtained a replacement Singapore passport.

He used it in a bid to leave Singapore and was arrested at Changi Airport on June 8 this year.

On Wednesday (Oct 28), he was sentenced to a total of 18 months' jail after admitting to the two offences. Another charge of pocketing $18,018 as a theatre manager with Shaw Theatres Lido was considered during his sentencing.

A district court heard that Goh was working as an accounts executive in Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa last year when he forged the cheque on July 2 .

He took home the cheque, payable to AG Power Engineering, and changed the payee's name to that of his wife, Chinese national Li Hanshu.

The next day, he put the cheque into a deposit box at Standard Chartered Bank at Vivocity. Five days later, Li transferred $4,400 to him via Internet banking.

He was arrested on May 30 this year after his return from visiting his wife in Chengdu, China. As a condition of bail, his passport was impounded by the police and he was not to leave the country.

On June 8, he declared to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority that he had lost his passport on May 31. He collected his replacement pasport that day.

He was convicted of criminal breach of trust in 2010 and criminal breach of trust last year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Alexander Woon said Goh had committed the forgery while awaiting sentencing for the cheating offences. This showed his lack of remorse and blatant disregard for the law.

He said Goh's previous sentences of a fine and six months in prison had had no effect on his behaviour. He argued that a significantly higher jail term was warranted to take him out of circulation and protect the public from him.

Goh, whose sentence was backdated to June 9, could have been jailed for up to 15 years and fined for forgery. He could have been fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to 10 years for the offence under the Passports Act.