Serial con woman, 63, who duped victims out of $38,000 given 20 months' jail

Tay Bee Har was jailed 20 months for cheating at least three victims out of $38,620.
Tay Bee Har was jailed 20 months for cheating at least three victims out of $38,620. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Over a two-year period, serial con woman Tay Bee Har, 63, duped at least three victims out of $38,620.

With her tall tales of offering to secure jobs for their friends or relatives, Tay even gave her victims receipts after she pocketed their cash.

And to make her victims further believe her ruse, she showed them photos of some people she had taken photos with, and said that she knew people in the American embassy.

But her lies landed her back in prison yesterday and she was sentenced to 20 months' jail. Tay, who has been sent to jail five times for cheating since 1988, pleaded guilty to five out of 12 cheating charges.

The court heard that Tay met one of her victims, a 47-year-old construction worker from China, at a coffee shop along Lorong 27 Geylang. They would see each other there from time to time.

In September 2013, Tay lied that a restaurant she was working with was recruiting, and said that she could get jobs for the victim's family and friends - for a fee.

"To make her claims credible she even informed the victim that she worked for the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics and that her son was a high ranking police officer," said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Vadivalagan Shanmuga.

"She even showed him pictures of some people that she had taken photographs with and had said to the victim that she knew people in the American embassy too," he added.

On Sept 5, 2013, believing her story, the victim handed Tay $6,000.

Just five days later, he passed her another $3,600. Tay had told him that she needed a further fee for work permit applications.

Tay went on to pose as an agent to another construction worker from China, saying she could get him a job in Singapore, the court heard.

On May 14, 2014, the victim handed over $1,600 to Tay at the void deck of Block 217, Jurong East Street 21.

"To make the accused further believe her ruse she even handed him a receipt confirming having received the said money," DPP Vadivalagan said.

On Dec 3 last year, Tay met another victim, a 34-year-old Singaporean housewife, at a coffee shop. She offered to find a job for the victim's husband, who is from India.

On Dec 4, trusting Tay, the victim passed her $2,580.

But Tay later also lied that she could get jobs for seven other friends of the victim's husband.

Between January and February, the victim passed Tay $15,580.

"To carry on her ruse, Tay also gave to the victim a receipt bearing the name of one Yap Matilda Nee Oliverio and an email address which did not belong to her. The victim only discovered that Tay was not the said Yap Matilda Nee Oliverio, much later," said DPP Vadivalagan.

Tay was arrested and granted bail. But she jumped bail and went to China in February.

A warrant of arrest was issued and she was arrested when she came back to Singapore in July. She has been remanded since.

Tay could have been jailed up to 10 years and also fined for each of her cheating charges.

She has not paid her victims back any money. The total amount involved in her 12 charges is $38,620.