Probation for two youths who ran a charity scam

Two youths, who claimed they were probationers tasked with soliciting for donations for a charity, are now really serving probation. District Judge Siva Shanmugam sentenced Brian Sie Eng Fa, 20, and Ho Loong Ann, 19, to 18 months' probation on Tuesday. They were also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

Sometime at the end of 2012, the duo hatched a plan to obtain fast cash by selling badges for $2 each for St Luke's Elder Care. This is a charitable body that provides a variety of day care services for elderly folk. For donations of $10 or more, they offered the badge for free. They had bought the badges for an undisclosed sum in Thailand.

On Jan 9, Ho forged two donation registration permits purportedly issued by St Luke's and endorsed by the Singapore Police Force, under the fake names of 'probationers' Alvin Tay and Leslie Teo.

At 8am, the duo started from the top floor of a block of flats in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8. However, a resident was suspicious and called the police at 9.20am. Officers nabbed the two cheats at 10pm with 14 badges and the two forged permits. By that time, the two youths had cheated residents of $325.

Defence counsel Ravinderpal Singh told the court that the duo realised they had committed serious offences. He said that Sie is presently serving as a full-time national serviceman while Ho is awaiting his call-up.

They had pleaded guilty earlier this month to cheating and possessing $325 that had been fraudulently obtained. Ho also admitted to forging the donation registration permits.