Woman accused of selling phantom Keppel Club memberships to 1,341 buyers

A senior executive who headed the membership department of Singapore’s oldest country club allegedly sold fraudulent memberships to 1,341 buyers between 2004 and 2014, a court heard.
A senior executive who headed the membership department of Singapore’s oldest country club allegedly sold fraudulent memberships to 1,341 buyers between 2004 and 2014, a court heard.PHOTO: SHIN MIN

A 69-year-old woman was in the State Courts yesterday to face a litany of cheating charges involving $393,800, with the prosecution saying they need more time to prepare a further 3,121 charges against her.

Irene Setho Oi Lin, who was in a wheelchair, was a senior executive who headed the membership department at the Keppel Club, Singapore's oldest country club, when she 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.

Interested buyers were directed to Setho, who would prepare a form with the applicant's genuine details.

But when it came to details of the person selling, she would allegedly fill in a fabricated name, or the data of former members instead.

She would also purportedly fabricate the signature of the phantom seller.

Besides the cheating charges, Setho is also accused of abetting her colleagues in making fraudulent entries in the club's electronic membership database to create the phantom memberships.

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

Yesterday, the prosecution tendered 60 charges against Setho - 20 each for cheating, falsification of records, and receiving the benefits of criminal conduct.

No plea was taken.

Setho, who started as a clerk in 1966 and rose to supervise its membership department, is out on bail of $300,000. The case will be mentioned again on Dec 6.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2016, with the headline 'Woman accused of selling phantom Keppel Club memberships to 1,341 buyers'. Print Edition | Subscribe