Ex-steward jailed and fined $30K for helping loanshark

A former flight attendant was jailed for a month and fined $30,000 on Monday for helping an unlicensed moneylender in his business. Leonard Louis Boyd, 44, pleaded guilty to helping a loanshark called Ben Ho by handing over a POSB ATM card to Ho's unknown runner to facilitate the business of moneylending in June 2011.

The court heard in early 2011, he borrowed $1,000 from a licensed moneylender to pay off his credit card bills and bank loans. He subsequently borrowed about $40,000 from nearly 25 licensed and unlicensed moneylenders as he could not make timely repayments of his earlier loans.

On June 28, 2011, he received a call from Ho who demanded repayment of his outstanding loan. When Boyd said he could not make the repayment, Ho proposed that Boyd help him by opening a bank account and allowing him to use it for his unlicensed moneylending business. Ho promised to pay him in exchange for the use of the bank account, and the payment would be used to offset the outstanding amount of his loan.

The next day, he went to the POSB branch at Tampines Street 81 and opened the account with $500 of his own money. After opening it, he withdrew the $500. On June 30, he met the runner and handed over his POSB ATM card with the personal identification number.

Boyd, who was arrested on Feb 7 last year, had been working for Singapore Airlines for 21 years. His counsel said the father of two borrowed money to meet the medical costs of his parents and his family's expenses. He added that Boyd still suffered from acute depressive disorder till today as a result of his financial woes.

The maximum penalty for the offence is four years' jail, a $300,000 fine and six strokes of the cane.