SINGAPORE - Former China tour guide Yang Yin was sentenced on Thursday (Sept 29) to 26 months' imprisonment for falsifying receipts, as well as for immigration and cheating offences.
In May, Yang, 42, pleaded guilty to 120 out of 347 charges; the rest were taken into account for his sentencing. Most of his charges were for falsifying receipts made to his bogus company Young Music and Dance Studio while the rest were for cheating, immigration crimes, and breaking Companies Act laws.
The prosecution had earlier pressed for a deterrent sentence of 2½ to three years' jail.
In delivering her grounds of decision, deputy presiding judge of the state courts, Jennifer Marie, said: "This sentence adequately sends a strong signal to deter like-minded offenders that foreigners who gain entry to or remain under false pretenses in Singapore should not be allowed to get off with a slap on their wrists."
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Tan had said that Yang duped the authorities into granting him Singapore permanent resident (PR) status by falsifying receipts to create the appearance that his firm was a profitable business with revenue totalling more than $450,000.
He said that PR status is given only to people who contribute to Singapore and Yang did no work at all.
Yang applied successfully for an Employment Pass and was granted PR in 2011. He also deceived the authorities into granting his wife a long-term visit pass.
DPP Tan said on Wednesday: "This is a foreign national who spent almost his entire five years in Singapore either offending or preparing to offend."
Separately, Yang has pleaded guilty to misappropriating $1.1 million from 89-year-old widow Chung Khin Chun whom he had befriended when he acted as her tour guide in China. He moved to Singapore to live with her in 2009 and set up the fake company as part of his scheme to stay in Singapore.
The prosecution has asked for 10 to 12 years of imprisonment. Sentencing for the criminal breach of trust charges is scheduled for Friday (Sept 30).