Ex-CEO of KTL Global charged with cheating, false trading

The former chief executive officer of mainboard-listed KTL Global, Wilson Tan Kheng Yeow, was charged in the State Courts yesterday with cheating and false trading between 2014 and 2015.

Charge sheets seen by The Business Times show Tan had on two occasions allegedly cheated KTL Global's wholly owned subsidiary KTL Offshore of a total of around $1.5 million to fund trades in the shares of KTL Global.

Tan faces two cheating charges, punishable under Section 420 of the Penal Code. He was also slapped with one charge of false trading under Section 197(1A)(a) of the Securities and Futures Act (SFA).

In October 2017, KTL Global said Tan was assisting with the Commercial Affairs Department and the Monetary Authority of Singapore in investigations concerning a possible offence under the SFA. Tan surrendered his passport to the authorities and resigned as CEO.

He is accused of deceiving KTL Offshore by representing that a $1.5 million remittance to KTL Global's associate company FW Coastal Ventures on Nov 4, 2014 was for FW's working capital purposes. But he had planned to use $500,000 of that remittance amount to fund trades in KTL Global.

From April 23 to May 5, 2015, Tan allegedly deceived KTL Offshore on about $1 million to be transferred to KTL Offshore Hong Kong to buy machinery on behalf of KTL Offshore Technology (Nantong), which was 40 per cent-owned by KTL Global.

It is said that Tan intended to route the $1 million from the Hong Kong firm to Infinity Global Consultancy, which is solely owned and controlled by Mr Tang Boon Hai.

Another charge sheet states that Tan conspired with Mr Tang to give a false or misleading impression that there was active trading in shares of KTL Global between October 2014 and September 2015.

Mr Tang is said to have used 14 trading accounts to buy 122.8 million shares and sell 120.7 million shares from Nov 4, 2014 to Sept 8, 2015. This led to the stock's average daily traded volume surging to about one million shares during that period, up from about 96,859 shares over the previous six months.

To do this, Mr Tang also allegedly instructed a former trading representative from OCBC Securities, Tan Chun Yong, to place orders and trades in the stock using six accounts which belonged to other individuals.

Tan Chun Yong was charged yesterday with abetment by internationally aiding Mr Tang to create a false or misleading appearance of active trading in KTL Global's shares, under Section 197(1)(a) of the SFA.

According to the charge sheets, OCBC was not informed of and did not consent to Tan Chun Yong's use of the six accounts. He was thus also slapped with six charges under Section 201(b) of the SFA.

Wilson Tan was offered bail of $100,000 while Tan Chun Yong's bail was set at $35,000.

The court adjourned their cases to Nov 26 and Nov 19 respectively for further mention.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2020, with the headline 'Ex-CEO of KTL Global charged with cheating, false trading'. Print Edition | Subscribe