He forges ex-wife's signature on cheques for $640k, steals her bags

Kelvin Ang Soon Lim was jailed yesterday for four years for his offences.
Kelvin Ang Soon Lim was jailed yesterday for four years for his offences.

Ms Li Xiangli, 34, did not report her former husband to the police when he forged her signature on two cheques for $640,000 in 2013, as they had a young child then.

However, last year, when Kelvin Ang Soon Lim stole her three luxury bags, including a $20,000 Hermes handbag, while she was overseas, she reported him to the police.

Of the $640,000 that he took as a result of the forgery, $472,000 has been returned to Ms Li by Ang and his mother.

Yesterday, the 40-year-old unemployed man was jailed for four years on two counts of forgery and one of stealing Ms Li's Hermes bag, which Ang sold for $14,900.

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Three other theft charges were considered in sentencing.

As for the forgery case, the court heard that Ms Li returned from China on Dec 28, 2013 and found out the next day that a sum of money had been transferred out from her OCBC Bank account.

Further checks showed that Ang had presented two OCBC cheques for $380,000 and $260,000, purportedly signed by Ms Li, to the bank. He deposited the money into his POSB account.

At that time, the couple were living in separate rooms in their flat.

Ms Li kept her cheque book in her locked drawer. Ang duplicated her room and drawer keys and stole the cheques when Ms Li was visiting her family in China from Dec 9 that year. Ang forged her signature on the cheques by referring to her telco bills.

The money in the OCBC account belonged to Ms Li and her family, and none of it was from Ang.

Ang used the $380,000 to repay his loan shark debts after losing heavily in gambling.

He admitted that he wanted the $260,000 to spend with his Chinese girlfriend.

He could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined for theft.

The maximum penalty for forgery is 15 years' jail and a fine on each charge.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2017, with the headline 'He forges ex-wife's signature on cheques for $640k, steals her bags'. Print Edition | Subscribe