2 directors face CBT charges involving $14m

Two directors of different firms appeared in a district court yesterday as they are said to have engaged in a conspiracy to misappropriate cash totalling $14 million.

According to court documents, the two Singaporeans are Lee Boon Teck, 54, and Chan Ewe Teik, 56.

Chan is accused of two counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) linked to the $14 million.

Lee faces 12 charges, including three counts of CBT. Two of these charges involve the $14 million he allegedly worked with Chan to misappropriate.

Lee faces a third CBT charge for allegedly misappropriating another $2.2 million.

At the time of the alleged offences, Lee was the managing director of Catalist-listed company KLW Holdings, which is now known as HS Optimus Holdings. He was also a director at Ambertree, a wholly owned subsidiary of KLW Holdings. He is no longer holding these positions.

Lee is said to have misappropriated $16.2 million in total from the two firms' bank accounts by authorising payments to a firm called Straitsworld Advisory.

Chan is currently a director at three firms - Fort Sentosa International, Happyland World and Sovran White (Singapore) International Logistics.

In April 2014, Lee was a director at Ambertree, which deals with wooden products, when he allegedly misappropriated $2.2 million from one of its bank accounts by authorising a payment for the amount to Straitsworld Advisory. He is accused of engaging in a conspiracy with Chan to commit a similar offence the following month.

The two men allegedly worked together to misappropriate $7 million from a second bank account owned by Ambertree by authorising payments for the amount to Straitsworld Advisory.

The pair are accused of engaging in a conspiracy to misappropriate monies again in June 2014.

On that occasion, they allegedly worked together to misappropriate $7 million from KLW Holdings' bank account by authorising payments for the amount to Straitsworld Advisory.

Besides three counts of CBT, Lee also faces nine other charges.

These include three counts of falsification of accounts and one count of using a forged document as genuine.

Each man was offered bail of $150,000 and their cases have been adjourned to Oct 14.

For each count of criminal breach of trust, an offender can be jailed for up to 15 years and fined. If convicted of falsification of accounts, Lee can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge.

Those convicted of using a forged document as genuine can be jailed for up to four years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2021, with the headline '2 directors face CBT charges involving $14m'. Subscribe