5 to 9 years' ban on ex-insurance agents, ex-bank employee for fraud

Prohibition orders have been issued against three former insurance agents and a former bank employee for fraudulent and dishonest conduct.

The four are Edwin Teh Chin Hong and Joseph Michael, who were from Great Eastern Life Assurance (GE); Aloysius Zephaniah Lim Bing Hong, who was at Prudential Assurance Company Singapore; and Ng Wei Ling, a former employee of United Overseas Bank (UOB).

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said yesterday that it has issued a nine-year order against Teh, an eight-year one against Ng, and five-year orders for Michael and Lim.

The orders took effect yesterday.

The MAS said Teh misappropriated from seven clients and cheated them of about $350,000 over a period of three years on the pretext of helping them to invest money or pay insurance premiums.

He was charged with criminal breach of trust, cheating and forgery, convicted in March last year, and sentenced to 34 months' jail.

Michael, who was also from GE, misappropriated about $15,000 from a client under the ruse that the money would be used to pay insurance premiums.

He was convicted of criminal breach of trust and jailed for 10 weeks.

Former Prudential agent Lim misappropriated almost $10,000 by misleading a client into paying for insurance policies that had already lapsed.

Even after he had left the company, Lim continued to falsely represent himself as a Prudential agent for nearly two more years, and continued to deceive the client into transferring money to him.

He was convicted in March last year of cheating offences and sentenced to 14 weeks' jail.

Ng, a former UOB personal banker, cheated seven clients of $215,000 over 18 months on the pretext of helping them to invest in a fixed-deposit promotion that the bank was offering, or to buy an insurance policy.

The funds were transferred into Ng's personal bank account, and she also forged the signatures of two clients on insurance application forms.

She was convicted of cheating and forgery, and was sentenced to 20 months' jail in April this year.

The prohibition orders bar the four from taking part in a wide range of financial service activities.

Ms Loo Siew Yee, assistant managing director of policy, payments and financial crime at MAS, said: "The four individuals abused the trust that their customers placed in them, and enriched themselves at their customers' expense."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2019, with the headline '5 to 9 years' ban on ex-insurance agents, ex-bank employee for fraud'. Print Edition | Subscribe