Yang Yin trial

Prosecution seeks 2-1/2 to 3 years' jail for accused

Call for deterrent sentence for former China tour guide, who committed fraud to get PR

Permanent resident (PR) status is given only to people who contribute to Singapore but former China tour guide Yang Yin, who duped the authorities into granting him the status, did no work at all.

"Throughout his entire stay in Singapore, both before and after obtaining SPR (Singapore PR) status, the accused determinedly did no work whatsoever, made no significant economic contributions to Singapore," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Tan yesterday.

"Instead, he has directed his considerable energies towards committing offences involving dishonesty and fraud on government agencies and individuals, and by so doing necessitated the expenditure of further state resources to investigate, prosecute and punish his crimes."

DPP Tan pressed for a deterrent sentence of 21/2 to three years' jail for Yang, who had pleaded guilty in May to 120 charges.

He said Yang, 42, who has been in the news since 2014 for allegedly misappropriating the money of wealthy widow Chung Khin Chun, was the opposite of what a PR should be - a qualified, hard-working and productive individual.

DPP Tan said the case warranted a deterrent sentence as it has caused "palpable public disquiet".

"The present offences threaten Singaporeans' faith that our immigration policies are fair and that there are robust procedures and checks in place to safeguard against such fraud," he added.

In May, Yang had pleaded guilty to 110 charges for the falsification of receipts made to his company, Young Music and Dance Studio. The remaining were for immigration and cheating offences, as well as for breaking Companies Act laws. The rest of the 227 charges were taken into consideration.

Deputy Presiding Judge of the State Courts Jennifer Marie said yesterday that the sentencing for these charges will take place today.

Separately, Yang has pleaded guilty to misappropriating $1.1 million from Madam Chung whom he came here to live with in 2009.

He claimed he wanted to stay in Singapore to look after the childless widow, but the prosecution said he wanted to obtain PR status to benefit himself and his family instead.

During his stay here from 2009 to 2014, Yang duped five public institutions by falsifying financial statements and lying about his income, for example. He falsified receipts to create the appearance that his firm was a profitable business with revenues totalling more than $450,000.

Using documents that showed his company revenues and pay figures, he applied successfully for an Employment Pass and got his PR status in 2011 before deceiving the authorities into granting his wife a long- term visit pass. Had he not been caught, he would have tried to get citizenship, the prosecution said.

"This is a foreign national who spent almost his entire five years in Singapore either offending or preparing to offend," said DPP Tan.

"Although this epic tale is nearly at its conclusion, at this final chapter, we still see a lack of remorse, a lack of any genuine remorse on the part of the accused," he added.

Yang's lawyer, Mr Irving Choh, asked that the Chinese national be given one to two years' jail for his offences as he has a wife, young children and aged parents to support.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2016, with the headline 'Prosecution seeks 21/2 to 3 years' jail for accused '. Print Edition | Subscribe