Woman fined $100,000 in civil penalty for false trading

MAS said that these purchases artificially raised and set the closing prices of the stock on all three days. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A woman has paid a $100,000 civil penalty for false trading in the shares of jewellery retailer Aspial Corporation and property firm Far East Orchard.

Madam Tan Su Lan had pledged the shares of both companies as collateral for share margin purposes, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) noted on Wednesday (May 11).

She then bought shares in both companies near or during the close of trading on three consecutive days in May 2016.

These purchases artificially raised and set the closing prices of the stock on all three days and in turn the closing prices increased the collateral value correspondingly, said the MAS.

It added that Madam Tan had contravened the Securities and Futures Act by executing trades "in a manner that was likely to create a false appearance with respect to the price of the shares, and was reckless as to whether the trades would be likely to create such a false appearance".

Madam Tan has admitted liability and paid the civil penalty.

Ms Loo Siew Yee, the MAS's assistant managing director for policy, payments and financial crime, said: "Trading behaviour that has the effect of distorting prices adversely affect the fair and orderly functioning of our capital markets."

A civil penalty action is not a criminal action and does not attract criminal sanctions but provides a more nuanced approach to combat market misconduct.

Aspial's businesses include Goldheart, Maxi-Cash and Lee Hwa Jewellery. Its chief executive and director is prominent Singapore businessmen Koh Wee Seng.

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