Man who conned bean curd stall owner out of $5,000 jailed 2 weeks for fake TV show scam

A jobless man told a bean curd stall owner he could help her promote her business on television if she gave him $5,000. -- ST GRAPHIC
A jobless man told a bean curd stall owner he could help her promote her business on television if she gave him $5,000. -- ST GRAPHIC

SINGAPORE - A jobless man told a bean curd stall owner he could help her promote her business on television if she gave him $5,000.

But the Channel 8 show 'Dou Yi Dou' was never broadcast. In fact, it never existed in the first place.

Wang Rownee, 55, pleaded guilty to cheating Ms Yvonne Chen Yijun, the owner of four Hong Kong Ibean stalls, and was jailed for two weeks.

He had previously arranged for her to be interviewed by Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao in May 2012 and followed up on his promise, with a report relating to her business published two months later.

The court heard that on June 6 that year, Wang then contacted Ms Chen and asked if she wanted to promote her business on "Dou Yi Dou", which included the Chinese character for bean.

Ms Chen agreed and the next day gave him cheques for $2,000 in return for taking part in the programme. Just under three weeks later on June 25, she paid him another $3,000, after he said additional payment was needed so she could be scheduled to appear on the first day of the programme.

To perpetuate the lie, Wang called to confirm the arrangement, adding the episode would air in the first week of Sep 2012. An hour before this he also gave her a letter to the same effect, purportedly issued by Mediacorp and bearing its letterhead.

His scam was exposed when he stopped contacting her after the payments were made, and gave various excuses for this when she called him a month later. The victim then called MediaCorp directly to ask about the programme on Sep 26.

Wang pleaded guilty to cheating his victim, with another similar charge taken into consideration. He could have been jailed up to three years and fined.

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