Bail halved for lawyer accused of misappropriation

A lawyer who allegedly misappropriated $11,000 entrusted to him appeared in court via video link yesterday.

Zaminder Singh Gill, 56, who is said to have committed the offences while working with Hilborne Law, was charged last week with three counts of criminal breach of trust as an attorney. He was then offered bail of $60,000.

Gill was still in remand yesterday afternoon before District Judge Terence Tay reduced his bail to $30,000, noting that even though the amount allegedly misappropriated was large, it was "not exceptionally so".

As part of his bail conditions, Gill must not contact people, such as the alleged victims. He must also surrender to the authorities all travel documents in his possession.

Gill, who is no longer working for Hilborne Law, is accused of misappropriating $6,500 from Wang Yanyan in August last year. Earlier this year, he allegedly misappropriated a total of $4,500 from two others - Del Rasulee Mazlan and Zhou Fengxing.

Court documents did not reveal any details about the trio's identity or their relationship to Gill.

Yesterday, defence lawyer R. Shiever told Judge Tay that his client's initial bail of $60,000 was "rather high" and urged him to reduce it to $20,000.

Mr Shiever also said Gill had earlier left Singapore for Thailand, not knowing that there was an investigation involving him. Gill found out about the case only after returning here on Oct 14, the court heard.

Stressing that Gill faces only three charges, Mr Shiever told the court his client is not a flight risk.

 
 

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stephanie Chew, however, said bail should remain at $60,000. She said offenders convicted of criminal breach of trust as an attorney face a jail sentence that is "not insignificant".

The DPP also told the court that Gill's "primary family are out of Singapore". It was not mentioned where they are based. Judge Tay reduced Gill's bail to $30,000 and his case was adjourned to Nov 6.

For each count of criminal breach of trust as an attorney, he can either be jailed for life or jailed for up to 20 years and fined.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2019, with the headline 'Bail halved for lawyer accused of misappropriation'. Print Edition | Subscribe