Businessman jailed 20 months over rental returns scam

A businessman who cheated eight people of $213,000 in a rental scam was sentenced to 20 months' jail on Friday.

Lim Khee Swee, 49, also known as Ryman, admitted to three charges of cheating two victims of a total of $110,000 in 2011. He deceived them into believing that they would get a monthly rental return of around $6,500 for six to 12 months if they invested $30,000 to $50,000 with Royal Silk Business Hub (RSBH), which was in the business of renting office space for subletting to tenants.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Andrew Low said some time in 2010, Lim, a marketing director of RSBH, started incurring gambling debts. He decided to devise a scheme to cheat existing tenants or other parties into believing that they can get guaranteed rental returns of 13 to 23 per cent a month for six to 12 months on their investments in RSBH's business.

He did this by preparing false documents including company letters bearing RSBH's letterhead and stamp, and the rental agreements stating the returns.

Between May 10 and July 14, 2011, he cheated eight victims of $213,000. A partial restitution of $99,000 had been made to some victims.

A shareholder of the company reported him to the police after learning that Lim was misusing the company letterhead to collect money for his own benefit.

Lim was allowed to defer sentence until Monday to settle work matters.

He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each charge.

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