Salesman jailed for stealing luxury watches, cheating clients

SINGAPORE - A 26-year-old salesman who stole luxury watches worth almost half a million dollars and also cheated two clients of their money was sentenced to 26 months' jail on Friday.

Foo Ce Shan Ronald had made use of his position as a sales representative at Richemont Luxury, a high-end boutique at Marina Bay Sands, to steal four Jaeger-LeCoultre watches from the store.

The watches, which he took in January, were worth $489,000 in total, with one watch belonging to a customer valued at $332,000.

The court heard that Foo took this last watch, which was in the boutique's safekeeping after repairs on it had been completed, from a safe in the boutique's back office.

Foo then pawned the watch at a ValueMax in Tampines for $30,000, part of which he used to pay off debts. He gambled the rest away, hoping to win enough money to redeem the watch, but did not succeed.

Foo was also accused of cheating two customers in October and December last year of $20,600 and $15,000 respectively.

In both cases, he told the victims, Mr Kuo Chun Mon, 65, and Mr Tan Kok Choon, 64, that he could purchase branded watches for them at a discounted price.

After the victims handed over the money, Foo placed orders for the watches at the boutique but never made payment.

Foo claimed that he had used the money to clear his loanshark debts instead.

His lawyer Chang Chih Chao said in mitigation that his client was young, had made "a timely plea of guilt" and was "extremely remorseful".

Foo could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined for each charge of theft as a servant or criminal breach of trust.