Businessman jailed for 4 weeks and ordered to pay $46k penalty for corruption over Sentosa project

SINGAPORE - A businessman told a renovation contractor to mark up a quote by about $100,000 for a project at a beach club in Sentosa in return for awarding him the contract, a court heard.

Johnny Tan, 55, also asked Tan Kok Wah, 51, director of Concepcion Interiors, to pay him a part of the invoiced amount after each payment was received by him for the project.

Mr Tan agreed as he understood that he had to mark up the quote to secure the contract.

Johnny Tan, a shareholder of Azzura Resorts, a beach resort and water sports hub on Sentosa island, was jailed for four weeks and ordered to pay a penalty of $46,000 on Wednesday (Oct 11).

He had admitted to two of six counts of corruption: getting a $10,000 bribe on Dec 18, 2009, and a $3,000 bribe on Jan 18, 2010, from Mr Tan in return for awarding the interior fitting works of Azzura Resorts to Concepcion Interiors.

Four other charges involving a total of $33,000 were considered during sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jasmin Kaur had said that some time in June 2009, Mr Tan was at Johnny Tan's home when he told the accused that he was going to quote about $400,000 for a renovation project at Azzura. Johnny Tan told Mr Tan to mark up his quote and to pay him a portion of the invoiced amount after each payment was received for the project.

As such, Mr Tan submitted a marked-up quotation of $566,243, and the contract was awarded to Concepcion.

Mr Tan started the renovation works in July 2009, but Johnny Tan did not have enough money to pay him in full.

Consequently, the money that Mr Tan eventually paid to Johnny Tan was not a portion of the invoiced amount. Instead, he would pay Johnny Tan ad hoc as requested after each invoice payment was made. Between July 2009 and January 2010, Mr Tan made several payments to Johnny Tan on the latter's request, after the invoices had been paid.

On Dec 15, 2009, Mr Tan handed a cheque for $10,000 to Johnny Tan at Siloso Beach Walk, and a month later, he gave Johnny Tan a $3,000 cheque.

Mr Tan has served his jail sentence. He was initially given nine weeks' jail on five of 26 corruption charges. The prosecution successfully appealed and the High Court upped his sentence to 12 weeks.

Johnny Tan, represented by Mr S.S. Dhillon, could have been fined up to $100,000 and jailed for up to five years per charge.