Man jailed one week and fined $15k for cheating used car company owner

Wong Cheng Rui, 26, had dishonestly induced the owner to hand a Land Rover to him after deceiving him that full payment would be made.
Wong Cheng Rui, 26, had dishonestly induced the owner to hand a Land Rover to him after deceiving him that full payment would be made.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - An unemployed man who dishonestly induced a used car company boss to hand a Land Rover to him after deceiving him into thinking that full payment would be made, was jailed for one week and fined $15,000 on Monday (Oct 17).

Wong Cheng Rui, 26, had admitted to cheating Mr Xu Yongsheng, 46, at Sheng Auto in Bukit Batok Crescent on Feb 18, 2015, by making Mr Xu believe that he would be paid $347,000 by electronic transfer and $103,000 by cheque.

The court heard last month that Wong had contacted salesman Lim Chun Shen, 27, the day earlier to express interest in buying a Lamborghini advertised online. He offered a price of $450,000 which was accepted.

The next day, he went to the company to view the car and a deal was struck.

Initially, Wong said he would be making the full payment in cash, claiming that a friend would be arriving with the money. But his friend never turned up.

Later that day, Wong offered to pay in part by electronic transfer and partly by cheque. Mr Xu accepted the offer.

Wong then used the company's computer, on the pretext of executing the electronic transfers of money from his Hongkong and Banking Corporation account to Mr Xu's United Overseas Bank account.

Wong told M Xu that he would transfer a total of $347,000, comprising four separate transfers of between $50,000 and $100,000. After doing each transfer, he showed Mr Xu snapshots of a screen on the HSBC i-banking system, purportedly indicating a transfer of each amount.

Wong then issued Mr Xu a cheque for $103,000, and told him to cash the cheque on Feb 23. Investigations later showed that he in fact had only $80 in his HSBC Premier account on Feb 18, and $64 on Feb 23, 2015.

Wong wanted to take the Lamborghini immediately, but could not do so as he did not have the necessary insurance for the supercar.

As it was the eve of Chinese New Year, Mr Xu agreed to loan a Land Rover to Wong during the festive season, and told him to return the Land Rover on Feb 23.

When Mr Xu tried to cash the cheque, it was dishonoured. There had also been no transfer of any of the $347,000 to his UOB account. He made a police report.

Wong was arrested the next day at Woodlands Checkpoint.

Two other cheating charges were considered. Wong could have been jailed for up to three years and/or fined for cheating.