Coffee stall operator posed as an engineer and took $141k in loans from two banks

SINGAPORE - A man who posed as an engineer and produced forged payslips to unlawfully obtain $165,000 in loans from two different banks was dealt with in court seven years after the plan was hatched.

Ng Leok Soon, 66, was jailed a year and seven months on Monday (June 24) after pleading guilty to two counts of being part of a conspiracy in 2012 to commit cheating.

Court documents did not state why Ng, who was operating a coffee stall then, was dealt with only this year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rebecca Wong said that in September 2012, Ng was heavily in debt and wanted to borrow a "large amount" of cash when he approached his friend Alvin Chua Yuen Shen, 46.

Chua, who was at the time working as a customer acquisition officer for sales solutions firm eFusion Solutions, told Ng that he would get someone to secure bank loans for him.

But in return, Ng would have to give the third party 20 per cent of the loan amount.

Ng agreed with his friend's condition as he knew that he would not be able to obtain personal bank loans with the job he had at the time.

On Sept 17 that year, Ng met Chua at his eFusion Solutions office where the younger man gave him payslips purportedly from CGGVeritas Services Singapore, a provider of geophysical services and equipment.

The fake payslips showed Ng earning about $20,000 a month.

Chua then told his colleague, Mr Toh Hong Guan, 44, that he had a walk-in customer who wanted to apply for a loan from OCBC Bank.

Mr Toh looked at the payslips and told him he could receive a maximum loan of $82,000.

Mr Toh then filled up a loan application before passing it to Ng so that he could verify and sign it. OCBC received the application the next day and approved the loan.

On Sept 21, 2012, Ng withdrew $81,000 in cash and handed $16,000 to Chua.

By using a similar method, Ng also duped HSBC into approving a loan for $83,000.

On Sept 24 that year, he withdrew $60,000 in cash from HSBC and gave $16,000 to Chua.

The offences came to light when an OCBC employee conducted a check with CGGVeritas Services Singapore, which is now known as CGG Services Singapore, and discovered he was not working there.

The police were notified on Oct 4, 2012.

DPP Wong told District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt: "The accused used the monies he obtained from the loans to repay debts from 'Ah Longs' and friends and also used the money to buy an iPad for online betting."

Ng caused the two banks to lose $141,000 in total.

To date, he has made no restitution and Chua has not been dealt with in court.

For each count of being part of a conspiracy to commit cheating, Ng could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.