Two more charged over phantom Keppel Club memberships

Irene Setho Oi Lin faces a total of 3,181 charges, including for cheating.
Setho Oi Lin, also known as Setho Irene, 70, duped people into paying a total of about $37.5 million for fake memberships at Keppel Club. PHOTO: ST FILE

Two more people were charged yesterday over a fraudulent membership scam at one of Singapore's oldest country clubs that lasted more than a decade.

Ivy Cheo Soh Chin faces 303 counts of transferring the alleged criminal proceeds of Irene Setho Oi Lin, the former head of Keppel Club's membership department.

Nah Hak Chuan, meanwhile, faces 1,280 counts of falsifying records, by making false entries in the club's electronic membership database.

Cheo and Nah, both aged 66, will next appear in court on Jan 17.

Cheo is out on bail of $150,000. Nah's bail amount is $20,000.

Setho, 69, who was first charged last month with 60 counts, was also charged yesterday with an additional 3,121 counts.

She now faces 3,181 charges in total - for cheating, falsifying records, and acquiring, using or transferring criminal proceeds. The amount involved in her cheating charges is over $11 million.

A pre-trial conference has been set for Dec 22. She is out on bail of $300,000.

Setho, who started as a clerk in 1966 at Keppel Club, allegedly sold fraudulent memberships to 1,341 buyers between 2004 and 2014.

The club stopped issuing new memberships in 1996, but those interested could buy it from someone willing to sell his membership through the club, which celebrated its 112th anniversary in August.

Buyers were directed to Setho, who would prepare a form with the applicant's genuine details. But when it came to the seller's details, she allegedly filled in a fabricated name or the data of former members. She also purportedly fabricated the phantom sellers' signatures.

Setho also allegedly abetted her colleagues in making fraudulent entries in the club's electronic membership database to create the phantom memberships.

And she allegedly told the buyers to pay into bank accounts that actually belonged to money mules, who would then hand her the cash.

Amir Hussain

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2016, with the headline 'Two more charged over phantom Keppel Club memberships'. Print Edition | Subscribe