KTL Global's former CEO charged with cheating and false trading

Wilson Tan faces two cheating charges and one charge of false trading. PHOTO: BT

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - The former chief executive officer (CEO) of mainboard-listed KTL Global, Wilson Tan Kheng Yeow, was on Thursday (Oct 29) charged in the State Courts with cheating and false trading between 2014 and 2015.

According to charge sheets seen by The Business Times, 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 had said Tan was assisting with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in investigations concerning a possible offence under the SFA. Tan subsequently surrendered his passport to the authorities and resigned as CEO.

Tan is accused to have deceived 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 Tan had in fact planned to use $500,000 out of that remittance amount to fund trades in KTL Global, according to the charge sheets.

From April 23, 2015, to May 5, 2015, Tan allegedly deceived KTL Offshore that about $1 million was 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.

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

According to another charge sheet, Tan engaged in an alleged conspiracy with Mr Tang to give a false or misleading impression that there was active trading in share 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 resulted in the average daily traded volume for the stock to surge 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 and were serviced by OCBC Securities.

Tan Chun Yong was charged on Thursday with abetting by internationally aiding Mr Tang in this conduct 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 Securities 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, one for each account.

Wilson Tan Kheng Yeow was offered bail of $100,000 while Tan Chun Yong was offered a $35,000 bail.

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

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