Event manager, who deceives district judge into paying him $11,000, jailed for cheating and other offences

Christopher Liew Kuo Wei was sentenced to 4 months' jail and fined $14,000 for cheating.
Christopher Liew Kuo Wei was sentenced to 4 months' jail and fined $14,000 for cheating.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - An event organiser deceived a district judge into paying him about $11,000 to secure a venue for a family day event and provide food and entertainment when he knew that he would not be able to get the venue, a district court heard.

Christopher Liew Kuo Wei, 42, owner and manager of Mirage Event Management, was among three who submitted a quotation for the Judiciary Recreation Club's (JRC) Family Day event at Bottle Tree Park scheduled for November 2010.

The court heard that he submitted the quotation in September 2010, less than a month after he had been adjudged a bankrupt.

Sometime between Sept 22 and 24 that year, Liew deceived Family Court judge Masayu Norashikin Mohamad Amin by informing her that the venue was unavailable for Nov 20, 2010, and that Mirage had placed a tentative venue booking with the company Bottle Tree a week later, but immediate pre-payment was needed to secure the booking.

He also claimed that the JRC would be able to use the venue even if Mirage was not subsequently appointed as the event organiser. He knew that these representations were false, and in fact, no venue booking was made by him or Mirage.

Ms Masayu was deceived into giving him a cheque for $2,106 as a deposit to pay for the booking of the premises.

JRC subsequently entered into two contracts with Mirage on Oct 4 that year - for event organisation and food catering - in respect of the Family Day event.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Hon Yi said the victim was fraudulently induced to issue a personal cheque for $7,929 to Mirage to pay the deposit for the contract.

The event was later postponed twice, and was finally fixed for Feb 26, 2011.

But on Feb 21, 2011, five days before the event, Liew tried to have the event postponed, citing manpower and financial issues, and that the gifts were not ready.

DPP Hon said after Liew was made bankrupt, he continued to run Mirage, and had also obtained credit, in the form of deposits, on 17 other occasions from 16 companies which had booked Mirage for various events.

Liew pleaded guilty to two counts of cheating Ms Masayu; three counts under the Bankruptcy Act of obtaining credit above $500 without informing the clients that he was a bankrupt; and one of managing Mirage without permission from the Official Assignee in breach of Business Registration Act.

On Monday (July 10), Liew, who is in the process of annulling his bankruptcy, was sentenced to four months' jail and fined a total of $14,000.

Liew, who was represented by Mr Emmanuel Lee, will start his jail sentence on July 24 as he needs time to settle his affairs.

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